Bank mergers, the rise of digitization, branch closures and low interest rates that weigh on banks’ margins have increased layoffs of banking professionals, through various EREs, including those dedicated to financial advice.
During this year, employment regulation files have been produced in four large banks: Banco Sabadell, Caixabank, BBVA and Unicaja that add up to more than 12,000 exits of workers and since the financial crisis broke out in 2008, more than 100,000 layoffs have been recorded.
Among those affected are professionals dedicated to financial advice who have become highly coveted pieces by entities such as Banco Mediolanum, which is capturing the talent of these professionals by offering them an option for the future with their incorporation into the entity as family bankers.
It is a network of autonomous financial agents that carry out their activity independently, but backed by Banco Mediolanum, which provides them with tools and continuous training that gives them security in the service of their clients and helps them achieve their objectives.
In addition, “more and more professionals are turning to us interested in providing their services in our bank as agents,” he says. Francesco D’Italia, Head of Selection and Training of the Financial Advisors Network of Banco Mediolanum.
The most requested profiles
The profiles demanded by the entity are those of those professionals whose career path has had Relationship with customers or that they have dedicated to financial advice.
Another essential aspect in the selection of candidates is, in the opinion of Francesco D’Italia, “that his personal profile is consistent with the bank’s values, with their vision and their mission ”, and that they have“ entrepreneurial spirit to become self-employed professionals and work for their own account ”, he points out.
They also take into account the organizational capacity of the candidates for self-manage your activity, with the aim of providing the quality service that its customers demand. For this reason, D’Italia maintains that its priority in the selection processes is to identify if the competencies of the applicants “can make them become successful family bankers”.
What are the candidates asking for?
Among the main demands of future agents is the job security. “We explained that the greatest security to a financial agent is given by some satisfied customersNot a labor contract, as these professionals have already experienced, but the fact of being able to give a good service to a portfolio of satisfied clients who value the professionalism of the advisor and who will stay with him throughout his life ”.
They also ask time to get to know your customers and give them the attention they need. Time that Banco Mediolanum gives them because it is “essential to know clients in depth, become familiar with their personal situation, with their needs and fears in order to offer them the range of solutions most appropriate to their profile”, indicates the person in charge of Selection and Training of Banco Mediolanum.
The importance of being accompanied
Professionals are not alone in their transition from working for someone else in traditional banking to doing it on their own as a financial agent of Banco Mediolanum.
“They are not jumping into the void, nor is it a solo adventure. They have “the backing of the entity and that of an organization that trains, supports and accompanies them. They have at their disposal the experience and knowledge of many people who, before them, have started this journey and are now carrying it out successfully ”, explains Francesco D’Italia.
A profession with a future
In the expert’s opinion, financial advice is a profession with a great future. “We are in the golden age of advice in Spain”, he indicates, because a large part of the savings is found in products with zero profitability such as deposits, so savers need other alternatives to get a return on their capital.
Another aspect that makes the figure of the essential advisor is the high volatility of the markets. This means that “the saver needs a person with the ability and knowledge to explain what is happening in the markets at all times and help him make the most appropriate investment decisions,” the expert argues.
The support and investment in its network of agents has led Banco Mediolanum to become the first financial advisory network in the country with more than 1,458 agents. And it is that, as recognized by D’Italia, “our entity would not exist without the family bankers that are the axis of our bank“.
The formula of the financial agent has led Banco Mediolanum to consolidate itself as the bank with the most satisfied customers of Spanish banks, according to the latest market study prepared by the independent consulting firm Rise.
The leap from traditional banking to “family banker”
An example of professionals who have decided to become a Family Banker is Santiago Gandarias, who after 17 years working in traditional banking became an agent of Banco Mediolanum two years ago.
“I like the philosophy of financial advice that the bank has regarding the treatment of clients,” says Gandarias. Ensures that the entity offers “the Liberty so you can tell the customer what you really need “and you can” spend a whole day with a customer if necessary. “
He confesses to having faced the “fears” of becoming a self-employed professional, something that he now sees “as an opportunity without limits”Within the sector. So much so that “my own family says that I have the sparkle in my eyes again and that I am once again passionate about my profession.”
Santiago Gandarias encourages professionals who are being laid off because “there is a different bank” to undertake. “You don’t have to be afraid, you have to jump in because it’s not just that there is water, it’s that Banco Mediolanum is an ocean.”