Citizens Financial Group

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You'll love to hate it.

  • Comp & Benefits
  • Work/Life Balance
  • Senior Management
  • Culture & Values
  • Career Opportunities
Current Employee - Personal Banker  in  Boston, MA
Current Employee - Personal Banker in Boston, MA

Pros

The benefits are the typical banker's hours and being able to have holidays off if you work in the In-Store branches. Vacation is very nice and you rarely encounter and issue when wanting time off. Be very flexible with the weekly work schedule because it does change more often than one may like Branch colleagues are great to work with for the most part and there is a defined unity between everyone. Select members in the back office that work for CAL are fantastic and you will become familiar with certain colleagues that would prove to be extremely helpful with resolving customer issues. The most memorable experience was the Colleague Appreciation Day at Fenway which the bank rented Fenway Park and entertained and catered colleagues. It was a great experience and was the first time which I saw the bank's commitment to its employees.
You'll have the chance to meet interesting customers who will come to you for everything that they need. With the aggressive sales cultures, having customers that you can call and sell to would prove to be very helpful especially when they have a lot of money or multiple homes.
Training is very thorough if you do receive that as soon as you're hired because the systems can be very difficult to navigate however back office staff is always there to help.

Cons

The bank is going through a transformation which takes the focus from customer service to strictly sales. Sales goals are astronomical and the bank is now expecting participation with all sales based activities from all colleagues. Checking account goals are some of the highest in the industry if you do your research and Citizens Bank is placing more pressure on door to door sales with Bank at Work initiative. The pressure for sales does affect colleague's ability to resolve issues, get to know customers, and have a personality when engaging with customers. What the bank enforces colleagues to follow a sales model that was drafted by people within the bank who clearly do not understand how to interact with people without coming off as the stereotypical bank shark. Expect to be on the phone very often and everyday and especially late at night during mandatory call nights. "Coaching Sessions" are mostly centered around highlighting your weaknesses and not your strengths and opportunities. Being a high sales producers means nothing 10 seconds later because the mentality is "what are you doing", "what have you done", and "what are you going to be doing". Management doesn't seem to care very much about whether or not colleagues are happy and it shows in the high turnover numbers and the lack of staffing in branches. The revolving door of colleagues has been working to the bank's advantage because Citizens Bank is reducing staffing numbers through out the company. Customers are affected so much by the changes within the bank and the personal connection between the customer and banker/teller has been taken out of personal banking. Customer retention has been poor in certain markets and colleagues are continuously prospecting for new customers which makes it challenging to truly know your customers. Therefor the bank wants customer's investments, retirement, and mortgages being that those tend to keep customer's around much longer. Licensed Bankers have recently been hired which means Personal Bankers now are able to sell a select product line of investment products. This is nice and all however once licensed, there is no guidance or training for Licensed Bankers to show them how to sell or open investment or insurance products.
The products are competitive especially being that the bank recently revamped their personal accounts however customers have recognized the bait and switch tactics with money market promotions. Trying to explain to a customer why their interest rate dropped more than 60% after 2 months is painful and having to tell them that they need to bring thousands more to get an increase to the higher rate is uncomfortable to say the least. However, the bank wants everything that a customer has at other banks to Citizens Bank.
Even though the back office is filled with exceptional employees, be prepared to encounter some that make your job more difficult than the matter you are trying to resolve. You'll find yourself buttering up your explanation to the customer because CAL either didn't give you an answer, gave you a poor answer, or just were plain rude.
The hourly pay is low and don't even think about a minute of overtime because Citizens Bank has cracked down on that recently. The bonuses are nice as long as you over achieve and track your quarterly sales. Be prepared to defend your sales through Incentive Management because rules and sales qualifications are continuously changing.
Being a Branch Manager is not as easy as one would think. Yes they are responsible for supervising the branch but are even more responsible for generating revenue and maintaining high sales and referral numbers. Conference calls are daily, repetitive, and long. Shortcomings are made public so be prepared to be called out during conference calls and have to justify why you are not successful. Termination is part of the culture and having a branch with excellent customer reviews, high deposit balance, and seasoned colleagues means nothing if sales numbers are not on point.

Advice to ManagementAdvice

Be a big bank with a small bank mentality. Through good service, sales will come. Smaller successful banks have accomplished this for decades. Stop the customer experience process because interactions between a customer and colleague are not something that can be forced or faked. Base salary needs to be increased specifically for branch colleagues because of the increased responsibilities and reduced staffing numbers within the branch. Q1 2014 sales numbers are terrifying and branch colleagues are worried about the future expectations of the job. Raise employment qualifications for branch colleagues from high school or GED required to 2 or 4 year college degree required. The maturity level, work ethic, and intellect would be increased if done especially amongst younger staff.

Doesn't Recommend
Negative Outlook
Disapproves of CEO

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