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Overview of the role

Supporting customers in banks or building societies (or the broader financial services sector), working at a senior level.

Reference Number: ST0185

Details of standard

Role / Occupation:

Senior Financial Services Customer Adviser

This apprenticeship contains an option for those apprentices that manage a team as part of their role.

Occupational Profile:

This apprenticeship has been designed for use in Banks and Building Societies, but may have wider application across Financial Services, including Life Insurers. Within these organisations there are a number of front line roles that deal with customers and require a high level of technical knowledge and skills across a wide range of products – these may happen in a branch, over the phone, through the internet / social media or an operations centre that supports other areas. They may deal with individuals, businesses or a small portfolio of accounts. Typical activities could include, depending on the organisation, understanding customer needs and meeting those needs with the right products and services eg type of bank account / credit card / loans / insurances; promoting new digital services to encourage customers to use these channels, proactively calling customers to deepen relationships, resolving tricky complaints, working with other areas of the organisation to meet customer needs. Products within the scope of this role are core banking, savings and insurance. Any mortgage, complex investment or other regulated product opportunities will be referred to specialists.


Requirements: Core Knowledge, Skills and Behaviours



What is required

Industry and company understanding   Understands the role their sector plays in Financial Services, the business they work in, the end to end customer experience, the company ‘Values’, professional standards, and where their role fits in the business. Understands the different areas of the organisation they need to work with to deliver for the customer. Understands where their organisation sits in the market and its impact on / role in the local economy.
Regulatory, Legal and Compliance   Broad understanding of the Financial Services legal and regulatory framework, together with how this applies to their role. Sound understanding of relevant risk and compliance requirements e.g. Information vs Advice, Regulated vs non-Regulated products, Escalation procedures, Conduct Risk, Training & Competence, Complaints, Fraud Prevention. Keeps up to date with changes.
Products & Services    Broad understanding of the products and services offered to customers by their organisation, together with sound knowledge of the products and services, their features and benefits, relevant to their role. Understands the range of customer channels, their features and benefits.
Systems and Processes   Understands the systems, tools and processes used in the role, together with the standards to be met, including IT tools and digital banking solutions provided to customers. Understands how these link with other areas of the business to provide seamless solutions for customers.

Skills and Behaviours


What is required



Delivers excellent service, identifying and meeting or exceeding customer requirements. Educates customers in the use of digital solutions, helping them select the appropriate channel to deal with the organisation. Builds trust and loyalty with customers. Initiates contact with customers to deepen relationships when required. Provides solutions to customers that meet their needs e.g. accounts, savings, loans, cards, insurances; or refers to specialists e.g. mortgages and regulated products. Supports the company contribution to the local community where appropriate. Develops a network of contacts e.g. solicitors, estate agents to provide opportunities and self- generates business opportunities where appropriate.

Delivering Results


Uses a wide range of company systems and processes to deliver services to customers, Takes the initiative to meet challenging individual and team performance measures in line with company policy, Values, standards and regulatory requirements. Plans and organises their work to meet commitments / KPIs, not needing to be told what to do. Meets agreed business plan objectives where appropriate.

Teamwork   Consistently supports colleagues /collaborates to achieve results. Builds/maintains strong working relationships within and across teams. Works with/negotiates with other business areas to deliver to the customer, retaining ownership through to resolution. Supports and develops others in the team. Aware of own role in the team and impact on others.
& Influencing
  Deals effectively with customers/colleagues, using sound interpersonal skills and communicating well through a range of media using appropriate language e.g. phone, face to face, email, social. Listens actively to understand needs and adapts their style to their audience. Influences others to meet the customer’s needs.
 Problem solving   Works to deliver the best customer outcome when handling problems and complaints. Uses questioning to gain insight and further information. Takes ownership through to resolution. Supports the resolution of complex complaints and handles emotive situations professionally. Meets internal and external requirements eg company policy and regulatory. Escalates as appropriate.
 Continuous Improvement   Identifies opportunities to improve performance and service. Takes ownership of specific changes through to implementation.
Personal Development
  Seeks feedback and acts on it to improve their performance. Builds their own capability through ownership of their own development, working with their manager. Keeps up to date with relevant changes. Supports others in their development through mentoring/coaching as appropriate.
Honesty & Integrity   Truthful, sincere and trustworthy in their actions. Shows integrity by doing the right thing.
Maintains appropriate confidentiality at all times.
Flexibility   Adapts positively to changing work priorities and patterns when new tasks need to be done or requirements change.
Resiliance    Displays energy and enthusiasm in the way they go about their role, dealing positively with setbacks when they occur. Stays positive under pressure.

 Option – Team Leadership



What is required

Team Leadership  

Provides direction, inspires and motivates the team to maximise performance and service levels.

Plans resources to meet service levels.

 Team Development    Manages the performance of individuals. Supports their development e.g. through development, planning, mentoring, coaching.
Compliant delivery   Works with the team to ensure all activities meet legal / regulatory / risk requirements and that all delivery required standards and reporting requirements are met.



The length of this apprenticeship is expected to be 12 - 24 months. For entry at this level it would typically be 18-24 months, with progression from Level 2 being closer to 12 months.


The apprentice will complete an appropriate qualification/examination (as considered most relevant by the employer) from one of the following Professional Bodies:

  • Chartered Banker Institute - Professional Banker Certificate; Professional Banker Diploma; Certificate in Complaint Handling; Certificate in Offshore Banking Practice
  • Chartered Insurance Institute - Award In Retail Banking; Certificate In Financial Services; Certificate in Insurance; Award in Financial Administration; Group Risk
  • Chartered Institute of Securities & Investment – Investment Operations Certificate
  • London Institute of Banking & Finance - Certificate in Retail Banking Conduct of Business; Certificate in Business Banking and Conduct; Certificate in Consumer Debt Collection; Certificate in Regulated Complaints Handling; Award in Customer Complaints Handling; Certificate in Financial Administration and Planning; Certificate in Supervising in a Regulated Environment; Certificate for Specialists in Automotive Finance; Certificate in International Trade and Finance

Link to professional registration and progression

This standard puts the apprentice on the pathway towards or allows them to apply for professional membership of the Chartered Banker Institute, the London Institute of Banking & Finance, the Chartered Institute of Securities and Investment or the Chartered Insurance Institute, depending on which qualification is taken.

This apprenticeship could be an entry level role to the business or a progression from a lower level role or apprenticeship, building on the knowledge and skills gained in that role or apprenticeship. On completion of this apprenticeship, the apprentice will be fully competent in the role and can continue to develop their career within the organisation through a range of possible pathways. This could include moving into giving advice on regulated products eg mortgages, becoming a specialist in an area eg complaints, or continuing in a service role.


This is a Level 3 apprenticeship.

Review date

After 3 years or when significant change is required.


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Status: Approved for delivery
Level: 3
Reference: ST0185
Approved for delivery: 27 August 2015
Route: Legal, finance and accounting
Typical duration: 12 months
Maximum funding: £9000
Trailblazer contact(s): Iain.Gallagher@santander.co.uk
Employers involved in creating the standard: Barclays, Cambridge Building Society, HSBC, Leeds Building Society, Lloyds Banking Group, Nationwide Building Society, RBS, Santander, TSB Bank, Virgin Money, Skipton Building Society, Geoban, Canada Life
EQA Provider: Institute for Apprenticeships

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