Bank Managers aren't the distant, cigar-chomping autocrats of old. Today a friendly face is essential. Bank Managers need to be developing and looking after their team of employees whilst setting business targets for their branch and dealing with the public. Bank Managers are often expected to get out of the office and drum up business too. So, networking with the local community, getting to know local chambers of commerce, business associations, estate agents and small businesspeople is not uncommon. For investment banks you may be involved in international transactions, where another language or two is handy. You'll also need to be empathic, but sure of yourself, as you'll often be in charge of approving certain loans, which can significantly affect people's lives.
Dealing with businesses and members of the public ensures that a bank manager has to exhibit strong people skills. The ability to lead and inspire a team is very important. Management experience, preferably in the financial sector is critical, and a bank manager should keep up to date on economic issues, both locally and internationally. Business abilities such as negotiation, marketing and effective decision-making are also important. You also need to be good at staying up to date on changes in the financial services industry, as there are strict penalties for violating the many laws that regulate banking.