Branch Manager: Definition, Job Description, and Salary

What Is a Branch Manager?

The term branch manager refers to an executive who is in charge of a particular location or branch office of a bank or other financial services company. Branch managers are typically responsible for all of the functions of that branch office, including hiring employees, overseeing the approval of loans and lines of credit (LOCs), marketing, building a rapport with the community to attract business, assisting with customer relations, and ensuring that the branch meets its goals and objectives in a timely manner.

Key Takeaways

  • A branch manager is an employee who oversees the operations of a branch of a bank or financial institution.
  • The branch manager's responsibilities include managing resources and staff, developing and attaining sales goals, delivering customer service, and growing the location's revenues.
  • Branch managers oversee the performance of other employees who work in their branches.
  • Employers seek managers with experience, proven success, and leadership skills.
  • Branch managers typically have undergraduate degrees in finance, accounting, or related fields of study.

Understanding Branch Managers

A financial institution's executives place great confidence in the company's branch managers, expecting them to run their locations as their own businesses. A branch manager's job description includes assuming responsibility for virtually all functions of their branch, including growing that location's customer base and elevating the community's perception of the company's brand.

Branch managers are also responsible for delegating tasks to skilled workers and for their successes and failures. In fact, the branch manager is responsible for the success or failure of the branch they manage.

Excellent multitasking and organization skills are necessary to accomplish tasks in a timely and efficient manner, not only for the branch manager but also for the people they manage. The branch manager also oversees the performance of other employees, such as bank tellers, back-office workers, and loan officers.

Other Meanings

Although the term branch manager commonly refers to the leader of a bank location, it can also refer to an individual responsible for the office of any type of corporation.

Special Considerations

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) is the go-to source for information about the labor market and the U.S. economy as a whole. Its Occupational Outlook Handbook provides details about various careers, including job descriptions, outlook, and pay scales.

Although it doesn't have a distinct category for bank branch managers, it does provide information for financial managers—a category that includes these professionals. According to the BLS handbook, financial managers earned an average annual salary of $134,180 or $64.51 per hour in 2020.

The job outlook for financial managers is faster than average growth when compared to other industries. The BLS predicts this field will grow by 15% between 2019 and 2029. The agency expects that the number of jobs will increase to 108,100 between this 10-year period.

Requirements for Branch Managers

Because their responsibilities include developing and maintaining good relationships with customers and employees, branch managers should possess strong sales, people management, and customer service skills. Other attributes required of a branch manager are diligence, strong analytical skills, and the ability to prioritize, multitask, and focus on detail.

Branch managers are expected to be proactive about networking to bring in new business and increase revenue. A new branch manager might join the local chamber of commerce and attend business and networking events, where one often can meet influential community members. For example, a branch manager might meet a local hospital administrator and work out a deal to provide the branch's services to the hospital's employees.

Branch Manager Qualifications

Branch managers usually have undergraduate degrees in finance, accounting, or related fields. Some financial institutions may look at a candidate with a bachelor's degree in another discipline as long as they have a master's degree in a finance-related field. In fact, graduate degrees are preferred in many competitive areas where branch managers are in high demand.

Financial institutions hiring for branch manager positions look for candidates with prior financial experience, proven leadership experience, and a track record of increasing the number of a bank's accounts. Banks expect branch managers to be deeply knowledgeable about banking regulations. Once hired, branch managers have the freedom to choose their teams, but they also must be able to ensure their teams' success.

What Does a Branch Manager Do?

Most financial institutions, such as banks, have operations in more than one location, known as branches. A branch manager is any individual that oversees the operations of one specific branch. Areas that a branch manager oversees include managing employees, ensuring sales targets are met, staff training, marketing, and administration.

What Are the Qualifications Needed to Be a Branch Manager?

Branch managers will typically need a bachelor's degree. Management degrees are often helpful in becoming a branch manager. Having an understanding of financial terms and experience in operational management will also help. A potential bank manager candidate will need at least five to seven years of work experience to be considered for such a role and to have developed the appropriate skills for the role. An individual will need good organizational, financial, problem-solving, and team-management skills to be a good branch manager.

How Much Does a Branch Manager Make?

The average annual salary for a branch manager as of 2021 is $62,884. This ranges from $42,000 on the low end to $95,000 on the high end. Salaries will depend on the institution, the location, and the experience of the individual, among other variables.

Article Sources
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  1. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. "Financial Managers." Accessed Sept. 5, 2021.

  2. Glassdoor. "Branch Manager Salaries." Accessed Sept. 5, 2021.

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