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Commercial Account Manager

What They Do

Insider Info

When businesses need money, they talk with a commercial account manager. These managers work in banks, credit unions and trust companies. They decide whether to give a business a loan, after making sure that the business can pay the money back.

Commercial account managers also look for new customers. They're in charge of selling bank services and products, like loans and retirement savings plans.

Commercial account managers usually lead a team of loan officers. Managers make sure their loan officers make good decisions, check to see that loans are being repaid on time and that the needs of all their business customers are met.

Most of the time commercial account managers work in an office, but sometimes they visit customers.

Many commercial account managers specialize in a particular industry. It could be in agriculture, real estate, mining or forestry.

"Knowledge of a specific type of business or industry is becoming a highly valued skill in banking," says Doug Wakefield, a commercial account manager. "Knowing the ins and outs of a particular business means we can serve the client better. It also means the bank ends up with fewer loans that can't be repaid."

Other highly valued skills in commercial account management are fluency in a second language and advanced accounting skills.

"Fluency in another language can be a huge advantage to anyone wanting to work in this area of banking," says account manager Michelle Boyce-Sargent.

"Banks in big cities...have many business clients whose first language is not English. And it can be the same in smaller cities and towns. If we can talk to our customers in the language that makes them feel most comfortable, that's good business."

If you work in a bank or other type of business, you can move a lot or a little. There are job opportunities at this level of banking in large cities, and in small towns.

Often, you'll get moved around a lot in your first few years working at a bank. Then, as you gain more seniority and experience, you'll likely work in one location for many years at a time.

Many bankers at this level work more than 40 hours per week. Some work as many as 60 hours per week.

At a Glance

Make loan granting decisions and sell bank services

  • You may need to become an expert on a particular industry
  • Advanced accounting skills are assets
  • You'll need an MBA, an accounting background or extensive experience in the banking industry


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