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Building Society Assistant Profile


This Section of the site details information that you might find useful if you are looking to secure employment or require further details regarding working as an Building Society Assistant. This page details the following Information:-

  • Finding Suitable Work as an Building Society Assistant
  • Working Duties Expected
  • Hours and Environment
  • Working Skills Required
  • Training Requirements
  • Salary Expectations
  • Trade Information
  • Other useful Building Society Assistant Work Information

Finding Suitable Work

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Working Duties Expected

Building society assistants, sometimes known as customer service advisers, are the first line of enquiry for customers entering the branch. They deal with customers on a face-to-face basis using customised computer systems to process transactions and deal with account enquiries. They also undertake many of the day-to-day routine and administration tasks, such as dealing with correspondence.

A new entrant may start by dealing with customer account transactions over the counter, but with experience could progress to a branch managers assistant role, where they have more responsibility, including supervising other staff. They would also be expected to undertake more technical tasks, such as agreeing certain loans and helping customers to complete mortgage applications.

Building society assistants are expected to market and sell financial products and services to customers in order to achieve personal and team targets. They must develop a comprehensive knowledge of these products and others which may be linked. Products include personal loans, mortgages, pensions and insurance.

As well as branch work, assistants may have opportunities to move into online accounts work and regional call centre operations.

Hours and Environment

Building society assistants normally work 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday, with Saturdays worked on a rota system. The advent of telephone banking has seen the introduction of more shift and weekend work. Part-time work is widely available.

Most offices are modern and open plan. Counter assistants may work behind glass screens, others may be at desks in the front office. Interview rooms are available for dealing with situations where the customer requires privacy.

CCTV is in operation in all building societies and the working environment is observed constantly.

A corporate uniform is provided by the employer.

Where several branches exist within a town or area, assistants may be posted to other locations temporarily.

Skills and Interests

As a building society assistant, you should:

  • be able to communicate with a wide range of people
  • be able to work as part of a team
  • be honest and reliable
  • have the ability to pay attention to accuracy and detail
  • be confident selling and marketing products to customers
  • be computer literate
  • be aware of confidentiality issues.


While there are no formal entry qualifications, many employers specify four GCSEs (A-C)/S grades (1-3) including English and maths.

Personal qualities are often equally as important as qualifications. Previous experience in a finance, marketing or sales field is useful.


As a branch assistant, you will probably follow a competence based on-the-job training programme.

You can work towards NVQs/SVQs in Customer Service at levels 2 and 3, and Providing Financial Services at levels 2, 3 and 4.

Depending on the training programme there may also be formal Institute of Financial Services (ifs) or Chartered Institute of Bankers in Scotland (CIOBS) modules or examinations included. You may also be offered training by organisations whose products you sell, for example insurance companies.

Relevant training courses include the ifs Certificate for Financial Advisers (CeFA) covering introduction to financial services and products, financial products (such as mortgages, pensions and assurance) and client assessment and advice. The Certificate in Mortgage Advice and Practice (CeMAP) is a more specialised qualification for staff dealing with mortgage products. If you have the CeFA qualification, you gain exemption from three papers of the CeMAP and are only required to do a bridging course to fully qualify as a mortgage adviser.

Building society assistants who wish to further their career towards management may continue studying and work towards the ifs/CIOBS Associateship course, which can be undertaken by either block release or distance learning. On completion, students in England and Wales are also awarded a BSc (Hons) in Financial Services from UMIST (University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology).

Foundation and Advanced Modern Apprenticeships (MAPPs) may be available for people aged 16-24.
For details see: MAPPs (England); Skillseekers MAPPs (Scotland); National Traineeships MAPPs (Wales); and MAPPs (Northern Ireland).


There are approximately 69 building societies in the UK employing around 100,000 staff, around 79,000 of whom work in branches, while the rest work in head offices.

Promotion in building societies is performance related, and often means moving to another branch. Building society assistants can progress to managers assistant/trainee manager and then on to branch manager. The latter is often dependent upon gaining or working towards the ifs/CIOBS Associateship qualification.

Opportunities also exist for building society assistants within the head office in other departments such as finance, training, information technology and human resources.

Recently there has been a rise in the number of building societies offering electronic or telephone banking facilities. This has reduced the number of building society branches, but opportunities can now be found in building society call centres.

Annual Income

Figures are intended as a guideline only.

Building society assistants can earn between £9,000 and £12,200 a year.
An experienced branch assistant earns between £9,500 and £15,000 a year.
A senior clerk/managers assistant earns between £11,000 and £20,000 a year.

Many building societies also have profit related bonus schemes which are related to performance of individuals, teams and the business as a whole. Other benefits can include subsidised mortgages and loans, pensions and insurance cover.

Further information:

Institute of Financial Services
IFS House
4-9 Burgate Lane
Tel: 01227 818609

Financial Services National Training Organisation *
51 Gresham Street
Tel: 020 7216 7366

The Chartered Institute of Bankers in Scotland
Drumsheugh House
38b Drumsheugh Gardens
Tel: 0131 473 7777

The Building Societies Association
3 Savile Row
Tel: 020 7437 0655


National Training Organisations (NTOs) ceased to be recognised by the government on 31 March 2002. However, some are continuing to operate in their respective fields. Please contact individual NTOs with queries regarding their current status.

The Secretary of State for Education and Skills is licensing new Sector Skills Councils - charged with boosting skills and productivity in business sectors. For information about Sector Skills Councils, their roles and responsibilities, please visit the Sector Skills Development Agency website:

Other Useful Building Society Assistant Work Information

We have a section available at this site on Building Society Assistant job interview tips that you may find of interest should you wish to brush up your skills in this area and we also have number of career articles that may also be of use to you from within our guides and documents section.

Locations where we feature Jobs include:-
Aberdeen, Berkshire, Aberdeen, Bath, Bedfordshire, Berkshire, Birmingham, Bradford, Bristol, Cambridgeshire, Cardiff, Central London, Cheltenham, Cornwall, Coventry, Derby, Devon, Docklands, Dorset, Dundee, Durham, East Midlands, East Sussex, Edinburgh, Essex, Glasgow, Gloucester, Hampshire, Hertfordshire, Kent, Lancashire, Leeds, Leicester, Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, Liverpool, London, Manchester, Middlesbrough, Midlands and in various parts of the West Midlands

Details of other Building Society Assistant Jobs can also be found in other UK wide areas including:-
Milton Keynes, Newcastle, Newcastle Upon Tyne, Norfolk, North London, North Midlands, Northampton, Northamptonshire, Northern Ireland, Northumberland, Norwich, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, Oxford, Oxfordshire, Plymouth, Salisbury, Scotland, Sheffield, Shropshire, Somerset, South East, South London, South Midlands, Southampton, Staffordshire Surrey, Swansea, Swindon, Telford, Wales, Warwickshire, West End, West London, West Midlands, Worcestershire, York and throughout Yorkshire.

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