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Retail bankers are employed by major high street banks to undertake the strategic and day-to-day management of their branches.

There are around 8,000 branches within the UK.

What does a retail banker do? Typical employers | Qualifications and training | Key skills

Retail bankers act in a customer service role, advising on and assisting with services such as setting up savings accounts, authorising loans and moving money.

Typical responsibilities of the job include:

  • recruiting, training, supervising and appraising banking staff
  • discussing the financial requirements of clients and providing financial advice to clients
  • assessing and reviewing financial circumstances
  • processing payments and withdrawals
  • authorising and evaluating overdrafts and loans
  • developing a network of local business contacts
  • promoting the bank's services
  • managing budgets and meeting targets
  • maintaining statistical and financial records
  • dealing with complaints.

There are excellent promotional opportunities, such as moving to larger branches or specialising.

Typical employers of retail bankers

Retail bankers are typically employed by large banking organisations, although some are now employed by online banks and even in supermarkets. Most opportunities occur in major UK and international cities.

Vacancies are advertised by careers services, online, in TARGETjobs Finance and in national newspapers such as Business Week, The Financial Times, The London Evening Standard, Chartered Banker, The Economist andThe Banker. Applications should be made as early in the academic year as possible.

Qualifications and training required

You don’t need a degree to become a retail banker, so this career is very suited to school leavers. For more information about getting into retail banking as a school leaver, see our article on how to get into a career in finance, as well as the finance sector of TARGETcareers.

Graduates can enter the profession at trainee manager level with an honours degree (minimum 2.2) in any subject, although qualifications in law, business studies, management, mathematics and economics can be advantageous.

Relevant experience gained via job shadowing, vacation work and placements in any business area can also be helpful, although not essential. Candidates must be free from bankruptcy and criminal records. Qualifications from professional institutions such as the London Institute of Banking & Finance can aid career progression.

Key skills for retail bankers

  • Good leadership skills
  • Interpersonal skills
  • IT skills
  • Analytical skills
  • Teamworking skills
  • Numerical skills
  • Verbal/written communication skills

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