When you want money, need to deposit funds quickly before you get that ugly "overdrawn" error on your account, or want to explore your banking options, personal bankers and bank tellers are your financial lifeline. Sometimes the terms "banker" and "teller" are used interchangeably, but a banker usually has more diverse work responsibilities. A teller services indoor and drive-through windows and helps customers with transactions, but a banker usually works at a desk and helps with more complex banking needs.
Bankers and tellers both perform bank transactions, such as deposits, withdrawals, loan payments, check orders and balance inquiries. However, clerical and financial transactions are a bank teller's main responsibilities. Bankers perform financial transactions, but they help with inquiries that extend beyond a teller's responsibilities. If a customer has a problem with her account or there are financial discrepancies, a banker often helps solve the problem. Bankers don't usually have their own cash drawers and rely on tellers to tender cash.
Tellers and bankers help customers purchase new products or services. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, tellers look for customers who may be interested in certificates of deposit, personal loans or specific types of bank accounts. They often refer customers with advanced banking needs to personal bankers, who have extensive knowledge of loans, products and services. Since a bank teller has constant turnover at her counter, she doesn't always have time to detail the features of a new product or service. As a result, bankers are primarily responsible for sales.
Bank tellers offer financial tidbits to customers, but they don't usually specialize in financial analysis. Bankers study and research financial options, so they can advise clients on products and features that suit their banking needs. According to Wells Fargo, bankers help customers with significant expenditures, such as saving for college tuition, buying a home, purchasing a vacation home, starting a small business, investing, or planning for retirement. Most tellers don't have the knowledge or experience to help with long-term financial planning.
Bank tellers aren't generally required to have any type of license or registration to perform their duties. Some banks hire tellers who have recently graduated from high school, while others prefer to hire applicants who have had some post-secondary education or previous experience in finance, banking or a related field. According to the U.S. Bank Human Resource website, bankers are required to register with the National Mortgage Licensing System (NMLS) if they plan to act as mortgage loan originators or brokers. Most tellers don't originate or broker loans, but if they do, they must also register with the NMLS.
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