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Personal Banker vs. Relationship Manager: What Are the Differences?

Learn about the two careers and review some of the similarities and differences between them.

A career in banking can be both exciting and rewarding. Two common positions in this industry are personal banker and relationship manager. Both roles involve working with clients and providing financial services, but there are several key differences between the two. In this article, we discuss the similarities and differences between personal bankers and relationship managers, and we provide tips for pursuing a career in banking.

What is a Personal Banker?

Personal Bankers provide customer service and support for clients of a financial institution. They help clients open new accounts, process transactions, and resolve account-related issues. They also provide guidance on products and services that may be beneficial to clients, such as loans, credit cards, and investments. Personal Bankers build relationships with clients and work to promote customer loyalty. They may also refer clients to other financial institution professionals, such as investment bankers and loan officers.

What is a Relationship Manager?

A Relationship Manager is responsible for managing a portfolio of clients and developing strong relationships with them. They work to understand a client’s needs and provide solutions that will benefit them. Relationship Managers also identify new business opportunities with existing clients and work to win new business. They keep up to date on industry trends and developments to ensure that their clients are receiving the best possible service. Relationship Managers typically work in the financial services industry, but they can also be found in other industries such as consulting, technology and healthcare.

Personal Banker vs. Relationship Manager

Here are the main differences between a personal banker and a relationship manager.

Job Duties

Personal bankers meet with customers one-on-one to discuss their financial goals and devise a plan for reaching them. They also advise customers on banking products and services, such as checking and savings accounts, credit cards and loans. Relationship managers work more within the bank to oversee all aspects of a customer’s account. They monitor transactions and communicate with other members of the management team to ensure that each customer is satisfied.

The duties of a relationship manager are more administrative, while personal bankers have more interaction with customers. Personal bankers often spend most of their days sitting with customers in a lobby or conference room discussing their accounts. Relationship managers do spend time with customers in meetings, but they also perform more administrative tasks like filing paperwork and typing correspondence.

Job Requirements

Personal bankers typically need at least a high school diploma to enter the field, though many employers prefer candidates who have some college experience. Some banks also require personal bankers to complete training programs before they can start working with customers. These programs usually last between four and eight weeks and cover topics like customer service, sales techniques and banking regulations.

Relationship managers generally need at least a bachelor’s degree to enter the field. Many relationship managers have degrees in business administration or economics, but some come from other backgrounds as well. Relationship managers also often have several years of experience working in the financial industry before they are promoted into management positions. Additionally, relationship managers may be required to obtain certifications through professional organizations like the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA).

Work Environment

Personal bankers work in a variety of environments, depending on the type of bank they work for. For example, personal bankers who work at community banks may spend most of their time interacting with customers in person and over the phone. Personal bankers who work at large national banks may spend more time working behind a desk or computer screen to manage customer accounts online.

Relationship managers typically work in an office environment where they can collaborate with other relationship managers and team members. They also travel frequently to visit clients and attend meetings.


Personal bankers and relationship managers are both responsible for providing excellent customer service. This means they need to have strong communication skills, as well as the ability to build rapport with clients. They also both need to be able to handle difficult conversations and conflict resolution.

Personal bankers need to have a strong understanding of banking products and services, as they will be responsible for assisting customers with their accounts on a daily basis. They need to be able to explain account features and benefits, as well as help customers open and close accounts. Relationship managers also need to have a good understanding of banking products, but they typically work with more complex accounts. In addition to assisting customers with their accounts, they are also responsible for developing new business and expanding existing relationships. This means they need to be able to identify customer needs and offer solutions that meet those needs.


Personal bankers earn an average salary of $46,367 per year, while relationship managers earn an average salary of $72,293 per year. The average salary for both positions may vary depending on the size of the company, the location of the job and the level of experience the employee has prior to pursuing either position.


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