A personal banker is a bank employee, usually working in retail banking, who helps customers manage their funds and offers different solutions for their financial needs, such as opening savings or other accounts, obtaining car or mortgage loans, investing in money markets, procuring certificates of deposits or other commercial banking products and planning for retirement or children’s university costs.
Personal bankers usually work with private customers to help them with their banking-related questions or issues. A private/investment banker’s main objectives, on the other hand, are also connected to sales performance, and they work mainly with either businesses or wealthy private individuals. In addition, while private and investment bankers get to know their clients very well, personal bankers usually do not work with a specific client list.
Advantages of a personal banker A personal manager can help you with almost any question regarding bank services and assist you if anything is still unclear. Personal bankers can also give you tips on what services might be most suitable for you. In contrast, when applying for a new service through your online banking, you are on your own. There are also still plenty of people who do not feel comfortable using the internet and would prefer personal communication.
Disadvantages of a personal banker When considering the disadvantages of personal banking, it is worth mentioning two main reasons why online banking may be preferable to visiting a personal banker at a branch. Firstly, just like in any other industry, bank employees who work in the front office and meet their existing or potential clients on a daily basis are salespeople. This means that your personal manager has sales quotas and most of his or her salary is based on commission. Personal bankers are mostly evaluated on their sales performance, and this is a major factor when branch managers are considering potential promotions or job cuts. Ultimately, all personal managers will try to sell you as many bank services as possible, and, if they are good salespeople, they will succeed. If you want to avoid aggressive sales strategies, you might even be well advised to keep away from branches at the end of the month and especially at the end of the quarter.
Another disadvantage to bear in mind is the higher transaction costs in comparison to online banking. While the number of services offered is much the same whether you use a personal banker or your online banking, very often banks offer two different prices for services, depending on whether they are done at the branch or online. Banks need to pay for branch maintenance, employee salaries and other costs, and these expenses are covered by the transaction fees you pay in the bank. Lower or no transaction fees are also used as a strategy to motivate clients to use their online banking as much as possible. Today, some banks are even designed as branchless and their services are available only via the internet or by phone.