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Why More than 50% of Personal Bankers Quit in 9 Months

Becoming a Personal Banker is a good career for many new graduates. You get to work in prestigious banks like DBS, OCBC, Citibank, HSBC Bank. There are 14 retail banks to choose from in Singapore, and not to mention more than 53 Private Banks. As you start, you get to be called a banker and dressed in full-corporate style. The most exciting part of the job is to be able to deal with financial investments: equities, bonds, currencies, derivatives, unit trust, structured product, insurance and more.

In addition, you are put through 1 or 2 months of intensive training to learn about banking, regulations, wealth management, investments and products.

With the whole package from learning to grooming, you now look impressive & intelligent. You start reciting investment instruments and the latest news on Bloomberg or CNBC Money.   And not forgeting the good pay and big commission or bonus you will be getting, which will get you your dream car or vacation.

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Getting an interview is not too diffficult, as long as you qualify, as Wealth Management, Banking takes on a few hundred new hires every year.

Our latest 2015 estimates in Banking, Wealth Management

  • > 4,000 Personal Bankers & Priority Bankers
  • > 3,500 Private Bankers
  • > 15,000 Investment Professionals

Source: Caproasia Intel

Since there is such a big demand for Personal Banker, it is attractive to be one. But here is a serious question: Why do more than 50% quit in 9 months?


7 Reasons Why Personal Bankers Quit in 9 Months

No. 1 Investment is exciting. Wealth Management is NOT.

The latest IPO, how Alibaba becomes a $200 Billion sensation, the new $600 Million bond with 5.75% coupon or how Swiss Franc collapse 28% in 30 minutes. You can talk about these.

But you end up doing financial planning, risk profiling and recommending products such as Unit Trust, Structured Products, Insurance-linked investments or Dual Currencies.   This is Personal Banking.


No. 2 You are not the investment expert. You don’t get to pick stocks.

Private Banker

You are often asked which is a great investment idea. And because your value add as a Personal Banker or Investment Professional comes from knowing investments better, you are coerced into making a choice. Provide an idea and it could lead onto a sale. Unfortunately, your job title is: Personal Banker, not Stock Trader.


No. 3 Sell Insurance .. What?

You wonder why as a Personal Banker, you are required to sell insurance, do account opening, help on replacing ATM cards or handling cheques issues.


No. 4 Things You Don’t Like:

Personal Banker Working Hard
Personal Banker Working Hard

Administration, Regulation, Training, Banking Operations, Handling Complaints, Cancelled Sales and more … …


No. 5 You don’t get to choose your customers. 

They come in all walks of life. Some wear shorts and slippers – notoriously & mysteriously known for being extremely wealthy.  Is that true?  Some are educated, some are highly educated, some are not.  Some are picky, some pick on every fee, some complain about their family.


No. 6 Struggling with ethics, integrity, trust, peer pressure

You get access to sensitive personal and banking information.  Birthdays, age, how much money the person has, why accounts are not in joint name.  Maybe juicy ones like having a mistress.  You can’t stand it but to start sharing with your colleagues.

And you forget about Banking Secrecy and China Wall.  Once in a while we hear of fraud.


No. 7  Sales Pressure

Or rather No. 1 reason why 50% of Personal Bankers quit the job in 9 months.  After going through 1 or 2 months of training, you will be posted to a banking branch and your sales target starts immediately.  It is all on-the-job training as you are required to deal with all banking matters and finding clients to discuss about wealth management and recommend investment products that would be suitable to them.

The sales target is not just a single product.  It typically  comprises of insurance, structured product and unit trust.  Add the adherence of regulation and administrative procedure, the Personal Banker is now a super being who can juggle between prospecting, interacting, profiling, sales, documentations.

If that isn’t enough, 7 days a week and sometimes roadshows at shopping malls, extended banking hours.  Your social life literally disappear.  And half of you are still 50% behind sales target.  Worst, you deal with the pressure that the investments that the bank had shortlist, in-turn you had recommended, does not collapse.

Welcome to the life as a Personal Banker, and the reason why 50% quit in 9 months.

In my opinion, a quitter is someone who quits simply because things have gotten tough.

Robert Kiyosaki

Recommended Article: How do you survive as a Personal Banker?  and What do you do after Personal Banking?

Visit Personal Banker Guide or Priority Banker Guide for more info.

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