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What Does a Bank Executive Do?

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  • Written By: Mary McMahon
  • Edited By: Shereen Skola
  • Last Modified Date: 14 November 2016
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A bank executive is one of the key administrators of a financial institution. These chief managers handle the day to day operations, long term planning, and regulatory compliance at a bank to ensure it meets the needs of customers and shareholders. Typically bank executives have a number of years of experience in the industry and may hold college degrees like a master of business administration (MBA) or accounting degree. Compensation can vary by financial institution and duties.

Some key executive positions at a bank are open to the chief executive officer, chief financial officer, and chief operations officer. Depending on the structure of a bank’s management, other chief positions may be maintained as well, covering issues like regulatory compliance, commercial customers, retail customers, and risk management. A bank executive typically has one or more assistants to help with duties in the workplace.

On a daily basis, the bank executive reviews operations at the bank, identifies problems and concerns, and develops policy. Each executive tends to focus on a specific area of operations, which may require some communication with others. For example, the chief financial officer talks with the commercial and retail banking divisions to discuss revenues, ways to increase earnings, and related subjects. Likewise, the risk management executive might meet with the chief operations officer to talk about ways to limit the bank’s exposure to risk.

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Bank executives are accountable to shareholders if the bank is publicly traded. They typically hold regular meetings to discuss and set policy, develop product proposals, and improve the quality of products and services at the bank. In an annual report, a bank executive can discuss accomplishments at the bank in the previous year, offer projections on future performance, and provide context for financial disclosures. For example, if a bank experiences a dip in revenue, executives might want to assure shareholders that this is the result of a major investment or another activity designed to benefit the bank in the long term.

In crisis situations, a bank executive may be called upon to resolve a crisis and maintain public communication to reassure people about the situation. This can include meeting with personnel at the bank to talk about what is happening and how to resolve it, as well as holding press conferences to discuss the event. Banks are particularly vulnerable to panic, and must handle public relations with care to avoid situations like mass withdrawals from worried customers.

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