What is a 'Branch Manager'

A branch manager is in charge of the branch office of a bank or financial institution. A branch manager is responsible for all of the functions of a branch location, such as hiring employees, overseeing the approval of loans and lines of credit, marketing, building a rapport with the community to attract business and assisting with customer relations. A branch manager is also responsible for making sure that the branch meets its goals and objectives in a timely fashion.

BREAKING DOWN 'Branch Manager'

Becoming a branch manager requires more than accounting skills. A branch manager should also possess strong sales, people management and customer service skills. This is because a branch manager's responsibilities include developing and maintaining good relationships with customers and employees. Branch managers usually have undergraduate degrees in finance or related fields. However, some banks and financial institutions accept a branch manager job candidate with a non-finance-related bachelor's degree as long as the person has a master's degree in a finance-related field. Other skills implicitly required of a branch manager are diligence and the ability to pay attention to detail, prioritize and multitask, as well as having strong analytical skills.

Beyond the Job Description

A financial institution's or bank's executive leaders have high expectations of the company's branch managers. They expect branch managers to run locations as their own businesses. Branch managers are responsible for growing the location's customer base, elevating the perception of the brand in the community and growing the branch's customer base. For this reason, branch managers are expected to take a proactive approach to networking in the community to bring new business in the door and to increase revenue. For example, a new branch manager might join the local chamber of commerce and attend networking events to meet influential members in the community. At a chamber of commerce networking function, the branch manager might meet a local hospital administration and work out a deal to market the branch's services to the hospital's employees.

Previous Experience Matters

Branch managers must have significant experience in the banking industry. Hiring institutions look for job candidates with finance experience as well as proven leadership experience. Such institutions also seek branch manager job candidates who have a track record of growing a bank's number of accounts. Employers expect branch managers be knowledgeable about banking industry regulations. Once hired, branch managers have the freedom to choose their teams, but they must ensure the team's success as branch employees.

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