A journey of a thousand miles starts with one step or so I have heard. The noun banker is derived from the word bank, yes as in river bank. So who’s a banker? A banker in banking terms is an individual who manages a bank, an officer of the bank or someone who owns the bank. (Google things-a girl’s best friend).So in this case it will be true to call Dr. Martin Oduor a former banker since he was once a bank CEO just as it is proper to say Dr. Mwangi, current CEO Equity Bank, is a banker.
Going by the above illustration it would seem I don’t qualify to be a called a banker but that is where I gladly correct you. See even among those who run the banking services are cadres and classes of bank emoloyees among themselves.
The bank staff
This group of people are majorly contractual and may change professions anytime. Their core job is to help the bank achieve it’s short term goals in the cheapest possible way. In this class you will find the direct sales representative who’s been trying to hook you up with a chap chap loan in vain. As much as this category of staff seem dispensable and cheap with proper motivation (read monetary compensation) they may prove to be a great asset to the bank in the long run. These people are usually paid in terms of commission and a retainer if lucky.
This cadre of bank employees may mislead you to thinking they are bankers or bank officers. These are the support or subordinate stuff who always clad in uniforms,from head to toe. They walk with self importance about them and can prove to be very difficult to manage. These are the boss’ ear so you toe the line in their presence even though you rank higher than them and you are potentially their boss. In the current set up there are a few support staff in banks since no more drivers nor messengers are being employed instead banks are outsourcing and encouraging self drive for managers.
This is as categorised by me and “fellow” bankers so don’t go thinking that all these definitions on Google are wrong. A banker is the permanent and pensionable employee of the bank who takes care of your banking at the branch level for instance tellers, customer service etc. They provide the deposit and withdrawal services as well as assist you access credit from the bank. They bear the brunt of your mood swings and build or break the bank’s image by the actions or inaction.
These refer to those who are in charge of formulating regulations, tariffs, code of conduct and similar manuals for use by bankers, bank staff and bank workers. Bank officials may or may not have a banking background. This group is made up of directors, auditors, heads of departments, marketing and other support centres.
Then there are those who work within the bank but can not be placed like the contract staff who has been paid to sign you up for internet banking, the team that’s tasked with collecting debts from defaulters , plusthe guy selling you insurance .
Others who work in the bank and may claim to be bankers:secretaries(dying population in the industry),cleaners and tea girls(usually outsourced) and the service vendors.
It is good to note that it is possible to progress from one cadre to the next as long as you are patient.
Don’t despise humble beginnings as the Kenyan President. H. E. President Unity Kenyatta has shown having worked as a teller many years back.
Next time you meet your friend employed in the bank you can find out who they really are 😉.