Bank Manager Career Facts

A bank manager is just that: A manager specializing in banking. That's actually two careers in one. The banking element involves extensive practical experience, combined with a strong knowledge base of both the business and the industry. The management element includes leadership, interpersonal skills, business management, financial management, and strong customer relations skills.

Education and training

The role of bank manager covers the entire spectrum of banking, and the list of qualifications is equally complex. The basic requirements are higher education qualifications across a range of related subjects. We've put these qualifications in stages to make the process more comprehensible:

Entry stage: These are diploma level qualifications. Many of the general banking diplomas are designed for existing and junior bank officers. In the US, the banking diplomas are offered by the American Institute of Banking.

  • Accountancy
  • Commercial lending
  • General banking
  • Mortgage lending
  • Personal banking
  • Retail branch management

These are the fundamental qualifications which allow progression in formal training, although there are other streams which also apply to higher formal qualifications in the banking industry.

College level qualifications stage: These streams are more familiar academic streams:

  • Business management
  • Risk management
  • Financial management
  • Economics

It will be seen from the education streams that many possible avenues of qualifications are available to match career paths. Bank managers, in practice, require several areas of expertise, and formal qualifications are useful assets in detailing specializations.

Postgraduate qualifications: These aren't essential, but are common. In the case of the MBA represent a useful benchmark qualification for promotion and career progression:

  • MBA
  • PhD in some related disciplines like Economics. 

The work environment

Bank managers need all their qualifications and years of experience. Of all commerce jobs, this is perhaps the only one which really covers every aspect of commerce, on all levels, sometimes on a daily basis.

A bank manager may be safely described as busy, by any standards. Consider this as a daily routine for an average branch manager:

  • 8AM: Daily staff and management meeting.
  • 8:30AM: Office correspondence and administration.
  • 9AM Meeting with local business regarding loan.
  • 9:12AM: IT systems problems.
  • 10AM: Customer complaint meeting with clients.
  • 10:30AM: Office correspondence and administration.
  • 10:45AM: Mortgage rescheduling meeting.
  • 11:30AM: Auditors committee meeting regarding major delinquent accounts.
  • 1PM: Lunch.
  • 1:10PM Client demands to see the manager.
  • 2PM Meeting with debt collection agency manager.
  • 3 to 5PM: Loans approvals with six clients. 
  • 5-6PM: Office correspondence and administration.

The bank manager is personally responsible for:

  • All business conducted by the bank.
  • Staff management, leadership, and motivation.
  • Occupational Health and Safety.
  • Authority for approval of financial instruments.
  • Hiring and firing staff.
  • Administration of all bank assets. 
  • Legal actions where delegated authority exists.

Salaries: Bank manager salaries range from $40,000 for junior managers up to $90,000 for a manager with 20 years experience.

Working hours: Although the standard business hours are the required hours, in practice they may be extended by business requirements.

The career environment

Career advancement in the banking industry may involve high job mobility. In large corporations, moving up through the layers of management may also include changing streams, from basic banking to financial management, or specialization in lending, depending on opportunities and the core business of the bank. It's also possible to move into other fields of banking, like merchant banking.