A commercial banking associate is responsible for selling a line of products to existing and new customers. He may also assist with reviewing customer accounts and analyzing the bank's potential risk in extending credit. Associates tend to look for ways to acquire new business for the bank and may conduct a report analysis to identify potential needs and selling opportunities. Some firms offer associate training programs to new college graduates and prepare them for future leadership roles.
In the majority of financial institutions, a commercial banking associate acts as an intermediary between the clients and the corporation. Most of the associate's job duties revolve around managing the client-firm relationship through sales, credit management, account service, and financial analysis. College graduates, especially those with a Master's in Business Administration (MBA), are prime candidates for these positions due to their knowledge of financial management techniques.
Meeting and interacting with current and potential clients is one of the most important aspects of being a commercial banking associate. Bank employees will often probe clients to find out how the bank's products and services can best meet their needs. Associates may reach out to a territory of existing clients to make sure that they are satisfied with the bank's service and offer recommendations for account upgrades or add-ons. Coming up with creative ways to present sales pitches to potential clients is also a part of the associate's job responsibilities.
A successful commercial banking associate looks for ways to increase the firm's sales revenue by maximizing the return in current relationships and developing new business. When seeking new business, the associate will most likely be involved in assessing whether the bank is able to take certain financial risks. For example, disbursing a mortgage to a potential customer with a poor credit rating and insufficient income would probably not be worth the extra revenue for the bank. Since the customer is more likely to default on the loan, the firm would actually lose more revenue in the long-run.
One of the ways that a commercial banking associate can help assess a bank's potential risk is by using financial tools to conduct an analysis. Associates may partner with other departments to locate and analyze information — such as credit reports, deposit histories, market indexes or averages, and debt to income ratios. Customer value analysis is another common tool that banks use to assess the lengths to which it will go to keep or acquire a client's business.
Commercial banking associate positions may be a training position for new college graduates in some financial institutions. As part of the position, associates may team up with mentors, practice their leadership skills, and attend classes administered by the bank. The training or learning curve may last anywhere from six months to a year.