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A Day in the Life of an Expatriate Bank Advisor – Spain

As a bank advisor in the UK I was looking for a new challenge. I was really lucky to get the chance to move out to sunny Spain and do a similar sort of job there.

I got into this job because I wanted to move to Spain to live. I had been looking for a position there for a while when I saw an online advert looking for expat bank advisors for a major Spanish bank. They wanted new people to help deal with the rising number of English speaking expats living in the country.

As soon as I saw the job I knew it was right for me but I had to travel across the UK to the bank’s head office in London for an interview. I only discovered afterwards that I was the only one of the applicants who was brave – or foolish – enough to agree to do the whole interview in Spanish. I was really keen to get the job and start a new life in Spain. My bank experience, desire to get started and basic Spanish helped impress the interviewers enough to get me one of the positions up for grab.

What I Do Each Day

The daily tasks really vary depending upon the time of year, as the branch is located in a massively popular summer vacation area. The winter months are incredibly quiet, so I have a lot of time to speak to the ex pats who live here all year round. My first daily task is to check my list of overnight movements, to see if anyone got a big transfer in I should know about. I will then get out my list of clients and phone maybe 20 of them to try and make some appointments for financial reviews the following day. If I don’t have any appointments for the rest of the day I will head out and speak to a few local business owners. New accounts are rare at this time of year so I will look to sell investments or get new business owners to join my bank.

In summer time, the branch gets really busy. As well as vacationing families asking how to use the ATM or change money, I also have many customers who only come during the summer to work in the local bars and hotels. Most of the day is taken up helping them deposit their wages, send home money by wire transfer, order new bank cards and sort out any other issues they might have. Because they are in a foreign country they depend upon their local ex pat advisor a lot. The working day is from 8 am to 3pm and there is far less of a set routine in summer, due to the constant flow of people who walk into the branch looking for an English speaker.  

The Qualifications

It is generally quite difficult to get a bank job in Spain. They are sought after positions and because of this the entry requirements are fairly high.

However, in the case of ex pat advisors they appear to have made the decision that there are other factors more important than formal qualifications. The original job application stated that they wanted people who had graduated from high school and who had 2 years experience working in a bank. Applicants also have to have experience in sales, fluent English and at least some Spanish for this kind of role.

The Salary Expectations

Bank positions are generally well paid in Spain when compared to other white collar jobs. The staring salary is around €30,000, which works out as $38.000 per annum. A quarterly bonus scheme based on your sales can add a few thousand on top of that if you do well.

(this article was contributed by a guest writer: Robert B., a Banker in Spain)

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