Please read the case and answer the questions at the end. Please respond to two of your peers. Do you agree or disagree?
Mountain Bank is located in the northwest United States. The bank has four major business lines: retail banking, consumer lending, real estate, and mortgage banking, and corporate banking. Traditionally, Mountain Bank has had a strong presence in the retail banking line, with only a limited presence in the other lines. However, deregulation in the banking industry has led to mergers and acquisitions for Mountain Bank, as well as for several of its competitors.
Retail banking includes traditional banking activities such as providing checking and savings accounts. Mountain Bank currently has about 50 percent of the market for retail accounts in its area. Often, however, these accounts are not very profitable. Consumer lending encompasses a variety of secured and unsecured consumer loans, such as home equity lines of credit, automobile loans, boat loans, and card lines of credit. Mountain Bank currently has about 25 percent of this market. Real estate and mortgage banking involve obtaining and servicing home mortgage loans, which are seen as a stable form of income for most banks. Mountain Bank currently has less than 10 percent of this market. Corporate banking provides services to businesses. Corporate clients are provided with a wide variety of basic services, as well as financing for equipment acquisitions and plant expansions. These services are often seen as very profitable. However, Mountain Bank has a very small presence in the corporate market—less than 5 percent of the market, according to current estimates.
Mountain Bank has established a strategy of leveraging its strong retail banking presence into gains in the real estate and corporate areas. Past experience suggests that one of the best methods for achieving this leverage is cross-selling, which occurs when tellers and customer service representatives convince customers with retail accounts to open corporate accounts or to obtain home mortgages from Mountain Bank.
Recent studies have found that bank tellers are critical to the success of Mountain Bank. In fact, one study found that customers’ experiences with tellers are the single most important driver of customer satisfaction. After all, a bank teller is often the only person an individual customer has contact with when visiting a bank branch. Although fewer tellers are needed every year due to technological improvements, tellers are still the heart and soul of a bank.
A typical branch of Mountain Bank has three to seven tellers, depending on size and location. Floating tellers (part-timers) are also used to increase the staff during lunch hours and paydays. Mountain Bank has traditionally approached the teller position as a low-paying, entry-level position. Tellers are frequently part-time employees. Turnover is quite high, and successful tellers are often transferred to customer service positions.
Job: Bank Teller
Pay: $14 per hour
Receives and pays out money and keeps records of money and negotiable instruments involved in financial transactions. Receives checks and cash for deposit verifies the amount, and examines checks for endorsements. Cashes checks and pays out money after verification of signatures and customer balances. Enters customers’ transactions into a computer to record transactions and issues computer-generated receipts. Places hold on accounts for uncollected funds. Orders daily supply of cash and count incoming cash. Balances currency, coin, and checks in cash drawer at end of the shift using a calculator and compares totaled amounts with data displayed on a computer screen. Explains, promotes, and sells products and services, such as traveler’s checks, savings bonds, money orders, and cashier’s checks.
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