What is your role at BNP Paribas?
My role is to support and advise our high-net-worth customers. They are individual salaried employees in the public or private sector who possess significant financial assets and/or income. At the Place de Clichy branch in the 9th arrondissement of Paris, I sit down with them with or without a meeting. I listen to their needs and point them towards financing, investment or insurance solutions to suit them and their families.
What challenges does a Personal Banker face?
The first challenge is to understand the expectations of customers worldwide through a complete and personalized discovery. Since they are all different, some want to place long-term investments in the financial markets to optimize their savings, others want to acquire real estate to put their capital or debt capacity to work, and still others intend to protect their loved ones and anticipate an asset transfer. We act as a true financial partner at every step in our customers’ lives. Since their needs change over time, it is important to be present at every milestone in their lives (marriage, birth, real estate purchase, educating their children, retirement, etc.) to offer the best support in carrying out their projects with our banking solutions.
Has your profession changed since you first started?
Even though I’ve only held my position for two years, I have already witnessed some major changes. The most notable change is in the behavior of our customers, notably in how they use routine banking services. Empowered by web solutions and apps, they perform many transactions on their own, such as wire transfers, ordering checks, credit and debit card operations, and so on. They can even compile their financial portfolio online or perform a mortgage simulation. As a result, my advising role has expanded, and changed to favor greater personalization in customer service, plus more support from experts. That has led me to connect my customers with our expertise hubs within the bank, depending on their needs—for example, to establish an asset report and place major investments with our Specialist Advisor in Savings and Planning; to complete a mortgage application with our Specialist Advisor in Mortgages; or to offer a leasing solution when acquiring a vehicle. I act both as a general advisor for “classic” banking services and a resource for pointing customers towards additional expertise.
SOCIAL SKILLS ARE JUST AS IMPORTANT AS EXPERTISE.
How did you become a Personal Banker ?
After completing a degree in economics and training in financial management, I started working in IT as a sales engineer. Next, I worked as a consultant in bank marketing. These two experiences helped shape my abilities in customer relations and banking. On the BNP Paribas careers website, I was drawn in by the Group’s spirit of innovation, dynamism and its capacity to train employees to help grow their careers. So, I applied, and I got hired! After six months of training within My Campus, which combines classwork with hands-on work in the branch, I started my current position.
What qualities does it take to exercise this profession?
It takes technical skills, of course, as well as strong knowledge of wealth management and the products offered by BNP Paribas. While you don’t need to be an expert, you still need to keep up on the economy and changes in taxes pertaining to financial assets. In my opinion, curiosity is the best quality to have, since you need to think hard to understand customers and their expectations. To meet these expectations, you have to create a climate of confidence through caring support and a genuine eagerness to help them carry out their plans. Lastly, you need to combine advising with marketing banking products so it’s a win-win for both parties. And you need to keep the customer happy!
“ Be open-minded, be curious and show your eagerness to take the initiative at a bank for a changing world. Anything is possible at BNP Paribas. Human values, caring and solidarity are more than just words at the bank. Social skills are just as important as expertise. ”
Wealth management advisor
Do you have a memorable story to share?
I recently met with a customer to optimize her savings. She came with a friend who was an “expert” in banking. Her friend enjoyed the meeting, discussion and solutions so much that he booked his own meeting with me. Now he’s one of my customers. But the most surprising moment for me was when I found out the friend had spent his entire career in high-ranking banking jobs—and that he knew a whole lot more than me about banking. Our transparency and the quality of the advising left a strong impression and he wanted to try out our services for himself. It was rewarding to gain his recognition. It gave me even more encouragement to keep pleasing our customers.
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