We Recruit Banking Customer Service Adviser’s
As a customer service adviser in a bank or building society branch, you would be a customer’s first point of contact. If you enjoy talking to a wide range of people and you are interested in finance, this job could be perfect for you.
To become a banking customer service adviser, you will need to have excellent communication and ‘people’ skills. You will need to be honest and reliable. You will also need good maths skills.
Some banks may ask for four or more GCSEs or equivalent qualifications. Others may not ask for any qualifications but will ask you to pass an entry test when you apply.
Your job could include:
- processing cheque, cash and direct debit payments and withdrawals
- setting up and maintaining customers’ accounts
- dealing with enquiries
- promoting and selling financial products and services to customers (if you have approval to do this)
- using a computerised system to update account details
- general administration tasks such as maintaining records, opening post and sending letters to customers
- operating UK and overseas currency tills
- helping customers with loan and mortgage applications.
With experience, you would handle more complex enquiries and may also supervise a team.
You could also work in a contact centre dealing with account holders over the telephone or by email. See the Financial Services Customer Adviser job profile elsewhere on this site for more information on this role.
Full-time working hours in high street retail branches are usually between 9 am and 6 pm, Monday to Friday, with Saturdays on a rota. Shift work is common in contact centres, which usually operate six or seven days a week until late in the evening. Part-time work is widely available.
In a retail branch, you would spend some of your time working at a counter or front office. In a contact centre you would work at a desk with a telephone headset and computer.
Starting salaries can be around £12,000 to £18,000 a year.
With experience and supervisory responsibilities, this can rise to between £18,000 and £30,000 a year.
Bonuses and commission for meeting sales targets can increase earnings. Other benefits can include subsidised mortgages, loans, pensions, shares and insurance.
Figures are intended as a guideline only.
Entry requirements can vary between employers. Some banks may ask for four or more GCSEs (A*-C) including English and maths or equivalent. Others may not ask for any qualifications but will ask you to pass an entry test when you apply.
A Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) check and credit check will usually be carried out on all employees working in retail banking. See the CRB website for more information.
Employers will look for commitment to providing excellent customer service, so any experience in this area will be useful. It will also help you if you have cash handling experience and basic computer skills in any work environment.
Further education courses that may be relevant include:
- City & Guilds (4411) Level 1 Awards and Certificates for Introduction to Customer Service
- BTEC Level 1 Award in Customer Service or Level 2 Certificate in Customer Contact.
You may be able to start this job through a Level 2 or Level 3 Apprenticeship in Providing Financial Services (Retail Banking route).
Training and development
You would take part in your employer’s in-house training scheme and learn on the job from experienced staff. Training will usually be on things like service standards, product knowledge, company procedures and regulatory guidelines.
You may also have the chance to work towards a work-based qualification such as:
- Level 2 and 3 Awards and Certificates in Providing Financial Services
- Institute of Financial Services Level 3 Certificate in Retail Banking Conduct of Business (CertRBCB)
- Institute of Financial Services Level 3 Certificate in Regulated Customer Care (CeRCC)
- Chartered Banker Institute Professional Banker Certificate and Diploma Qualification.
You may also do NVQs in Customer Service, Contact Centre Operations and Contact Centre Professionals. These suit any industry.
With experience, you could choose to take further training and qualifications to develop your career in other areas, such as financial advice and planning, or mortgage advice.
If you are aiming for supervisory management jobs in retail banking, it may help your career to take advanced qualifications, such as the Institute of Financial Services Level 4 Diploma in Retail Banking Conduct of Business (DipRBCB). See the Institute of Financial Services website for more details. The Institute of Chartered Bankers also offers higher level qualifications.
Skills and knowledge
To become a banking customer service adviser, you will need to have:
- excellent communication and ‘people’ skills
- the ability to work as part of a team
- honesty and reliability
- good mathematical skills
- accuracy and attention to detail
- the confidence to sell financial products to customers
- good computer skills
- discretion, to deal with confidential information.
Although the current economic climate has affected some areas of financial services, there are still opportunities in retail banking, particularly at entry and apprenticeship level.
Research suggests that there will be an increased focus on customer service, with growing demand for skilled people in all areas of customer service and relationship management. There is also a growth in Islamic banking.
You could work in retail bank branches all over the UK, or in regional processing and call centres.
Jobs may be advertised in the local press, through employment agencies and on banks’ own websites.
With experience, you could progress to specialist customer service and advice roles, or into management. Some banks offer internal fast track management programmes. You might also be able to apply your customer service skills in corporate or investment banking.
The financial services industry is represented by the Financial Skills Partnership (FSP) which includes the following activities:
- Banking – for individuals and businesses to manage their money, access loans, buy property, exchange currencies and many other activities. It is organised into three core categories: Retail; Corporate; and Wholesale banking.
- Investments – managing and growing the wealth of individuals and organisations
- Insurance – covers a huge variety of risks, from cars and houses to ships, planes and satellites.
- Financial Advice – about working with people to plan their financial goals, based on their current situation and looking at the best ways they can achieve their financial objectives, such as helping someone to choose a mortgage, invest their savings or plan for their retirement.
Almost 1.2 million staff in 34,000 workplaces constitute the UK’s financial services sector, from online car insurers to retail banking giants, and from self‐employed independent financial advisers (IFAs) to global investment banks. Operating under a regulatory framework unique to the UK, the sector facilitates the allocation of capital, promotes confidence and continuity in life and business by managing risk and maintains the transaction systems that the rest of the economy relies on to conduct its business.
- 47% of firms employ 250 people.
- Employment is dominated by a handful of large employers, most notably the high street retail banks, e.g. Barclays, HSBC.
- 29 % of the financial services workforce is employed in administrative or secretarial roles.
- About a quarter of the workforce is in associate professional and technical roles.
- Managerial roles, including owners in private companies and the self‐employed, account for 37% of the workforce.
- Employment growth in UK financial services has been weak when compared with other countries, notably the US
- Recently, there have been notable declines in employment numbers because of the recession
- Staff turnover has declined, as fewer vacancies and concerns about the recession may be deterring people from changing jobs
Jobs in the industry range from:
- Insurance – underwriting, broking, customer services, sales, risk management, compliance, training, actuarial and administrative roles
- Investments – asset management (sometimes called fund management), product development, product management, investment analysis, relationship management
- Banking – retail banking (customer services, customer advice, financial advice, foreign exchange and branch management); corporate banking (corporate advice, relationship management, small business management and corporate management); and wholesale banking (mergers and acquisitions, research, sales and trading, and corporate finance)
- Financial advice – mortgage adviser, independent financial adviser, compliance practitioner, pensions adviser
National and regional data
East Midlands – retail banking dominates financial services employment in the East Midlands. Women make up 53% of the workforce and 51% of workers are aged 35‐59. Full‐time employees account for 73% of the workforce and the average salary is £29,383.
East of England – insurance and insurance broking make up the most important parts of the financial service economy in this region, with Norwich a main centre. The region employs 12% of the country’s financial services workforce, with the majority, 88%, full‐time. Men make up 56% of employees, with 57% of workers aged 35‐59. Average earnings are £34,433.
London – this is the major centre of the UK’s financial services industry, centering on the City and Canary Wharf. Wholesale banking and insurance, investments and exchange markets are all well represented here. Almost of quarter of the workforce; 24% is based in London. Men make up 66% of the workforce and most jobs are full‐time, 94%. The majority of employees; 49% are aged 20‐34 and the average salary is £86,779 although this is heavily skewed by the number of high‐earning posts in the City. For most, the average is much lower.
North East – insurance broking and banking are the most important financial services in the region, with Newcastle the main centre of activity. Around 3% of the UK workforce is based in the region. Women form 66% of the workforce and 63% of workers are full‐time. Employees aged 34‐59 make up the largest share of the workforce at 52%, and the average salary is £27,219.
North West – Manchester is the biggest centre in the region but Chester, Macclesfield and Stockport are important clusters. Banking and general insurance form the bulk of businesses. The region employs 9% of the UK’s financial services workforce, with women making up 56% of employees, and most jobs are full‐time, 80%. Workers aged 34‐59 form the largest section of the workforce at 57%. The average salary in the region is £28,416.
South East – the region is second only to London in size, taking up 15% of the workforce. The gender split between men and women is fairly even at 54% and 46%, respectively, and 60% of all employees are aged 34‐59. Most people are employed full‐time, 84% and the average earnings are £37,298.
South West – The main centres for financial services in this region are Bristol, Bournemouth, Gloucester and Swindon. The sector here makes up 7% of the UK’s sector total. Women form 59% of the workforce and the majority of jobs are full‐time, 75%. People aged 34‐59 form the largest share of the workforce. Average salary for the sector is £34,910.
West Midlands – the region employs around 6% of the UK’s workforce, with the majority centred on Birmingham. Banking, general insurance and credit are the most important sub‐sectors here. Men make up 52% of employees, with 72% of jobs overall being full‐time. Workers aged 34‐59 are in the majority at 52%. The average salary is £29,014.
Yorkshire and the Humber – the emphasis across the region is on retail banking and makes up 7% of the country’s workforce. There are slightly more women than men working in the sector at 51%, and 81% of jobs are full‐time. Once again, the 34‐59 age range is most common among employees, accounting for 51%. Average earnings are £27,481.
Scotland – financial services in Scotland range from retail banking to pensions and car insurance, with centres of activity in and around Edinburgh, Glasgow and Dunfermline. Over 2,100 companies are directly involved in the industry, providing 7% of the UK’s financial services workforce. The most common age range of employees is 34‐59, and most people work full‐time, 81%. The average salary for the sector as a whole is £35,016.
Originally from National Careers Service