Banking is at an exciting point in its evolution – as both banks and their customers migrate to increasingly digital banking solutions. In South Africa we are not yet at the point where branches are not needed – a more accurate description may be that we are at a “warm digital” stage. In other words, digital when a customer wants it and human when a customer needs it. Predictions are that fully digital banking will be a reality in South Africa by 2027.
A private banker is essentially someone who provides a primary point of contact for individual banking clients (as opposed to business customers). A private banker builds relationships with an assigned portfolio of customers and provides end-to-end customer sales and service which includes servicing customer needs, resolving customer queries, cross-selling and upselling relevant bank products. They may also offer financial advice, based on products available and they play a key role in retaining a bank’s private customers.
As a private banker you will probably have responsibility for, among other things:
- Selling products and services, with a focus on managing and building a customer’s wealth, whilst maintaining a high level of integrity and ethical standards.
- Retaining customers and reducing customer attrition.
- Attracting new customers and maximizing cross-selling opportunities, based on certain targets.
- Capturing managing and analysing customer information and data and making recommendations to improve the bank’s margins, cost of service and delivery strategies.
- Monitoring adherence to risk, compliance, and governance requirements such as NCA (National Credit Act), FICA (Financial Intelligence Centre Act) and FAIS (Financial Advisory and Intermediary Services Act) requirements.
- At more senior levels, private bankers take on responsibility for people management, depending on the team/s to which they have been assigned.
With South Africa having numerous large and smaller banks, opportunities to work in the banking sector are generally good. According to the South African Graduate Employer’s (SAGEA) Employer Benchmark among 69 top graduate employers, there were over 60 graduate retail banking vacancies in 2022.
The following would be qualities most needed to be successful in this role:
- Personable, with a strong customer service ethic
- Attention to detail
- Excellent verbal, written and interpersonal communication skills
- Commercial acumen
- Good IT and analytical skills
- Networking and negotiation skills
- Numeracy skills
Relevant degrees would include business, economics, finance, management, or marketing. With banking becoming increasingly digital in nature, it may also be advantageous to have a qualification in an IT-related field.
Meet the entry requirements for a BCom or Business Commerce Diploma
A B-degree or Diploma in business, economics, finance, management, or marketing.
Association membership options
An FAIS-aligned qualification, the qualification needs to be registered with the Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA).
Other qualification/certification or professional membership
The Academy of Financial Markets qualification must be completed once employed as a Private Banker.
Professionals in this sector have potential to grow their earnings substantially, depending on their experience and role.
BCom in Business, Economics, Finance, Management or Marketing
There are many accredited public and private higher education Institutions in South Africa offering a BCom.
Business Commerce Diploma
SAGEA Employer Benchmark Insights
Job Descriptions supplied by Standard Bank