The banking industry is constantly changing, especially now more than ever, due to a technology-driven age where customers desire their requests to be handled in a single interaction. With this ongoing innovation, community banks strive to differentiate themselves from the competition by being customer-centric. Here at Traditions Bank, we uphold our value in meaningful relationships and connecting with our customers. This is where the emerging role of the Universal Banker steps in.
The title “Universal Banker” caught the industry’s attention in 2015 as one of the most anticipated trends in retail banking. This position combines the abilities of a traditional teller and a personal banker. Universal Bankers can complete a customer request from start to finish, balancing the tasks of transactions, new accounts, loan applications, and customer service. This approach aids in staffing gaps and the convenience of service to our customers. This position solves the problem of the run-around of bouncing from associate to associate to complete a request.
Lauren Hughes is a Sr. Universal Banker at our Downtown York branch. She shares how stepping into this role has allowed her to advance professionally toward a long-term career path:
How does Universal Banking differ from a traditional branch environment?
Lauren came from a previous bank as a Teller. She took on a few additional responsibilities that a Universal Banker would have. However, she learned more about the process when she stepped into the position at Traditions Bank. There are tellers and the platform side in traditional branches. This role combines both of these.
What drew you to the position of Universal Banker?
Lauren was initially hired at Traditions Bank as a Teller. Eventually, she took the opportunity when a Universal Banker position became available. Lauren desired to do more outside her current role and get to know the customers better. She says, “I knew through this position, I would be able to sit in the office with certain customers and build those relationships. You need to have compassion and care about people in this role.”
What is your day-to-day routine like?
Universal Bankers prepare for the day ahead by pulling drawers and checking e-mails. There are typically tasks left over from the previous day to finish, as well as scanning documents and filling out customer forms. Customers may have requests such as opening a new debit card or placing a stop payment. Lauren also values the friendships she has made with her team members; “There is a great camaraderie among our team. Throughout the day, we will talk with each other.”
What advice can you offer someone who wants to go into banking, but may have never had experience in it before?
If Lauren could offer advice, she would say, “Take that leap and have faith in yourself.” Another associate will be able to train you and support you through the process. A Universal Banker position will provide various pathways in a career.
What advice do you have for someone interested in the Universal Banker role?
Universal Bankers need to be willing to be flexible when completing different requests from customers. This position allows people to set themselves on a career path within Traditions Bank. Lauren has been an associate for one and a half years, and she is currently stepping into the role of Sr. Universal Banker. She states, “Here at Traditions, they are willing to grant you those opportunities if you are willing to put in the work. I haven’t been held back at all.”
Why do you choose to stay employed at Traditions Bank compared to somewhere else?
Lauren truly values the professional relationships she built, allowing her to stay connected with her co-workers. “I’m genuinely happy here. I have been given every opportunity to grow personally and professionally.”
What makes Traditions Bank unique?
“They seriously care about their employees here and want them to build relationships with one another,” she expresses. Lauren feels she can make personal connections with the customers and her team.
Do you feel your values as a person align with the values of Traditions?
Lauren believes the values of Traditions match who she is as a person. Fostering inclusion and communication is essential to her. “The value that most resonates with me within our RESPECT values is Real Relationships because that’s just the kind of person I am. I care to talk to people about more than just the weather when they enter the branch.”
Ready to make your mark on your career?