Retail Branch Manager Development Program


The Retail Branch Manager Development Program (RBMDP) is a joint venture launched by the WBA in partnership with bank leaders from around the state. Modeled after WBA’s extremely successful Executive Development Program, RBMDP focuses on cultivating bankers’ strong foundation in the dynamic and demanding retail banking sector. The program is specifically tailored for current retail bank managers and bankers seeking a retail management position.

Registration Cost
WBA/OBA Members: $1625 before September 15, $1750 thereafter
Non-Members: $3250 before September 15, $3500 thereafter 

Why Attend the Retail Branch Management Development Program?

Program Advisor – Joe Zavaglia, Article Author

Retail banking the most dynamic and ever changing segment of banking.  It’s also the most prominent display of your bank to your customers.  It is the face of your bank, the part that touches customers more than any other.  Despite this fact what we have seen during the past couple of years is a decrease in the quality of the customer experience.  For the past two years we have had our students actually shop banks in the surrounding area and what we are seeing is a steady deterioration in the skill sets of the branch employees which is resulting in a sub par experience for customers and potential customers.

What about turnover rate?  The highest turnover rate in most banks is in retail banking, why is that?  Is it a training issue, is it the lack of a clearly defined career path, are the jobs not engaging the employees, is it a management or leadership issue, or is it all of the above?

How is your retail bank different from your competition?  If you said it’s our staff then you answered as the majority of bankers responded, but what if you’re a customer or potential customer, what are your differentiators?  Are your offices, branches, stores, banking centers, whatever you call them, how are they different than your competition, do they “wow” your customers, and we’re not just talking about the facility we’re including the knowledge and professionalism of your staff.

I still recall when a new board member, the former COO of Microsoft, walked into his first board meeting and asked us why he should bank at our bank, what was so special about us.  After giving him our responses he looked at our executive management team and said “B.S.”, every bank says the same thing…what is your differentiator?  How do we distinguish ourselves from all the other banks out there?  It is a question we ask our students during every session, it was perhaps one of the best learning experiences of my 39 year banking career. 

The Retail Branch Management Development Program is one of the most valuable and inclusive training programs for retail bankers.  It will sharpen the skills of existing managers or help prepare those ready to venture into retail management.  The learning methodology cements newly discovered knowledge and skills in a truly unique manner that will reside with your employees for a lifetime.  These are highly interactive learning experiences that are designed to challenge and inspire passion in our students.  Believe me, the before and after snap shots of our former students tells it all!

Joe Zavaglia

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