Branch Management School

This meticulously designed program delivers the superior skills that a Branch Manager requires to be successful in today’s demanding banking environment.  Through instructor led education, case studies, exercises, peer interaction, and role play students will learn timely strategies and gain a deeper understanding of several competencies that are essential to effective branch management.  These competencies are covered in three learning tracks: General Banking, Sales & Marketing, and Supervision & Communication.

Each track provides participants the opportunity for personal and professional growth.  Graduates will find themselves better equipped to handle their job today, while preparing themselves for future career advancement in the highly competitive banking industry.

Who Should Attend?

Management Trainees; Assistant Managers; Experienced Branch Managers seeking a refresher; Branch Staff interested in learning more about a particular branch office function

General Banking Track (4 Workshops)

Consumer Lending (Full Day)

This workshop provides a review of the basics of consumer lending from the application process to loan closing procedures.  The importance of loan pricing as it impacts the balance sheet and the income statement will be included.

At the conclusion of this session, you will be able to:

  • Define and discuss consumer lending and its evolution.
  • Describe laws and regulations that affect consumer lending.
  • Discuss how effective loan products can increase loan volume and balances.
  • Describe the steps in the credit investigation process.
  • Structure options for different consumer loan products and loan pricing.

Commercial and Small Business Lending (Full-Day)

This workshop provides a review of the basics of commercial and small business lending from the application process to making an informed recommendation on a given commercial loan request.  This workshop will also cover the basic concepts of branch profitability, including the fundamentals of the financial statements of a financial institution, Balance Sheet and Income Statement, the significance of each statement’s contents, and the interrelationships between the statements.  You will also learn the impact of day-to-day decision-making on your branch’s profitability, the role of the annual budget process, and the use of budget variance reports.

Course Objectives:

At the conclusion of this session, you will have a general understanding of commercial and small business lending.  Loan products and types of financing will be discussed.  Branch Profitabilty Financial statements will be discussed and reviewed.

Consumer Compliance (Half-Day)

This part of the curriculum provides a review of the relevant federal regulations that impact transactions which typically take place in a branch environment.  Attendees will discuss compliance communication and free resources to keep them up to date.  The emphasis is placed on using compliance as an aid to customer service and sales versus an obstacle to them.  Students will formulate a list of “To Do’s” to assist with compliance implementation.

Course Objectives:

  • To create a positive attitude toward compliance
  • To generate interest in ongoing education regarding compliance
  • To develop a positive attitude toward compliance and model it for other branch employees
  • To create a list of compliance penalties and the risks of noncompliance

Security (Full Day)

At this session, the participant will learn how to protect the assets of his or her financial institution by detecting and preventing check fraud.  Physical security at the branch will be reviewed.  In addition, you will become skilled at identifying security warning signs including kiting, embezzlement, and money laundering.

At the conclusion of this workshop, you will be able to:

  • Gain a better understanding of the daily security and fraud issues that face branch managers.
  • Learn specific techniques for preventing check fraud.
  • Review techniques for providing physical security at the branch including procedures for managing robberies.

Sales and Marketing Track (3 Workshops)                                                                                             

Branch Marketing (Half-Day)

This workshop focuses on the basic components of marketing in a contemporary financial institution and how the branch is an important part of that strategy.  The topics include market research, product development, and promotional strategies.

At the conclusion of the session, you will be able to:

  • Identify the key elements of marketing.
  • Recognize the value of applying the marketing concept to building successful business.
  • Understand strategic marketing.
  • Identify buying behaviors.
  • Answer the question of which comes first:  the product or the customer?

Sales Skills (Half-Day)

This is a basic, interactive workshop to build skills for effective customer sales and services performance in the branch office.  Most of the participants will have already had sales training and this module will serve as a refresher and allow participants to improve their skills.

At the conclusion of this session, you will be able to:

  • Understand and have practiced specific customer satisfaction skills:  needs identification, responding and problem-solving.
  • Develop a comfort level with questioning and listening techniques for successful sales and service performance.
  • Be able to recognize and respond appropriately to customer cues.
  • Apply your skills on-the-job immediately and model them for your staff.

Sales Management (Half-Day)

This workshop focuses on participants developing specific coaching and feedback skills to help them develop and maintain an effective sales process in their branches.

At the conclusion of this session, participants will:

  • Gain confidence in their roles as coaches in building sales cultures.
  • Develop specific feedback skills they can apply on-the-job immediately.
  • Understand effective coaching components and be able to apply them to their staff.

Supervision & Communication Track (4 Workshops)

Effective Communication (Full-Day)

Combined with the personality assessment tool used to evaluate each participate, this workshop helps participants examine their own communication styles and provides them with practical techniques for communicating as managers and supervisors.  This workshop also focuses on how to become an effective business writer.  Excellent writing requires purposeful, reader-oriented, organized approach to communicate clearly and concisely.

At the conclusion of this session, you will be able to:

  • Understand your own communication style and adapt it to your role as a supervisor and manager.
  • Review the components of the communication model and the “noise” that accompanies the model
  • Learn the roadblocks and solutions to effective communication.
  • Deal with miscommunications in the workplace.
  • Recognize the characteristics of effective and ineffective writing
  • Apply the writing process; plan, draft, revise, edit, proofread
  • Develop a convincing, complete, organized document
  • Edit for the C’s of Communication:  courtesy, clarity, conciseness, and correctness
  • Employ the principles of e-mail “netiquette”

Performance Management (Half-Day)

This workshop focuses on using the strength of your employees to build synergy and teamwork.  As a supervisor and manager, you are judged by how well your employees are learning and meeting performance standards and by how you are appraising and praising performance.

At the conclusion of this session, you will be able to:

  • Understand the components of the performance management model.
  • Develop, set, and measure mutual expectations and performance standards.
  • Identify ways to give and receive positive and constructive feedback.
  • Coach for improved performance.

Team Building (Half-Day)

The focus of this workshop is to learn how to value what each individual brings to the team and communicate more openly and directly with each other.  Participants will learn specific team-building skills such as team problem solving, motivation, consensus building, and group dynamics.

At the conclusion of this session, you will be able to:

  • Apply the steps to build a high performance team and how it applies to your workplace.
  • Understand individual values and move to shared team values.
  • Recognize the stages of teamwork and group dynamics and how they apply to your work environment.

Strong Teams/Happy Customers (Full-Day)


Only strong teams are smart enough and focused enough to deliver word-class customer service.  Teams that are weak, divided and demoralized simply don’t have what it takes to satisfy today’s demanding customers. They often waste time, money and good will.  And that means loss of revenue and loss of jobs.


  • The Boot Camp approach focuses on becoming an even stronger team despite day-to-day challenges, demands and stresses affective even the best workplaces.  Though candid and open discussions, creative problem-solving and group break-out sessions, by the end of the morning, participants will have created a document titled “Our Promise to Each Other.” And everyone will sign it.
  • The afternoon segment will focus on meeting the expectations of today’s customers – all of whom know they can take their business elsewhere if they’re not satisfied.  Through candid and open discussions, creative problem-solving and group break-out sessions, by the end of the afternoon, participants will have created a document titled “Our Promise to Our Customers.”  And everyone will sign it.

After the session, the team will be better equipped to:

  • Becoming even stronger, united and focused on providing world-class customer service.  Plus the signed “promise” documents make follow-through by the entire team more likely.

Participants will strengthen these skills:

  • Develop simple ways to improve the quality of their work life;
  • Identify what stresses them in their jobs – and brainstorm solutions to manager those stresses;
  • Recognize how day-to-day communication challenges affect their work – and develop new ways to improve how they communication with each other;
  • Figure out easy and practical ways to  have fun while working hard;
  • Creative ways to celebrate as a team;
  • Handle difficult customers calmly and gracefully
  • Commit to helping each other, becoming an even stronger team and providing continuously improving customer service.

Our Approach:

A cost-effective and efficient way to help managers and employees meet the challenges all financial institutions face these days.  Because the boot camp will focus on everyday, real-life work issues, it will be targeted and tailored to the participants’ specific interests and needs.

Certificates & Diploma

Students will receive a Certificate of Completion for each track completed and a Branch Management Diploma with the successful completion of all three tracks as shown below:

  • General Banking Certificate – Consumer Lending (Full Day), Commercial and Small Business Lending (Full Day), Compliance (½ Day) and Security (Full Day)
  • Sales & Marketing Certificate – Branch Marketing (½ Day), Sales Management (½ Day) and Sales Skills (½ Day)
  • Supervision & Communication Certificate – Effective Communication (Full Day), Performance Management (½ Day), and Team Building (½ Day)


Stephen J. Bailey, Vice President, Northfield Bank

Mr. Bailey has had 30 years of commercial banking experience in Retail Banking Sales and Operations, Business Banking, Mergers and Acquisitions and Data Processing Operations throughout New Jersey.  Steve has been an instructor with CFT Atlantic States since 1987.  He holds a BA in Business Administration from St. Peter’s College.

Gregory D. Benson, Independent Consultant, Alexandria, Virginia

Greg has 32 years of financial service industry experience at savings and loans, commercial banks, consulting and trade associations.  He has served for more than 25 years as an instructor at various banking schools including CFTAS, Consumer Bankers Association’s Graduate School of Retail Banking at the University of Virginia, America’s Community Banker’s National School of Banking at Fairfield University and ABA’s Bank Marketing Association’s Essentials of Marketing for Bankers School at the University of Maryland.  Greg holds a BA and MBA from the University of Maryland.

George W. Connors, President and Chief Lending Officer, WashingtonFirst Bank

Mr. Connors brings 21 years of commercial banking and lending experience to the School.  His specialty is lending to small and medium size corporations, not-for-profit organizations, and professional firms.  George is a faculty member of the CFTAS Commercial Lending School.

Susan Mach, Ph.D.

Susan is a communication trainer, coach and strategist who works with a broad array of clients, including bank executives and staff. She is a partner in Mach Creative Services, a woman-owned, full-service communication firm. The firm helps executives as well as staff communicate clearly, crisply and compellingly to the media, shareholders, analysts, customers, employees and public officials. It also produces reports, videos, annual reports, Web content, press conferences and speeches.

Philip J. Mantua, C.P.A., Executive Vice President, Sandy Spring Bank, Olney, Maryland

Prior to joining Sandy Spring, a $2.0 billion community bank, Phil spent 15 years with Olson Research Associates, a consulting and education firm located in Columbia, Md., where he developed financial planning systems, strategic plans, and asset/liability management policies for financial institutions.  Phil is a frequent speaker at various industry-based seminars and workshops and a former faculty member of the BAI Graduate School of Banking, the Mississippi School of Banking, the Midwest School for Community Bankers and the Credit Union National Association (CUNA) Financial Management School.  Phil is currently a faculty member of the Maryland Banking School and The Stonier Graduate School of Banking.  Phil is a CPA and holds a BS degree in accounting from Benjamin Franklin University in Washington, D.C.

Cynthia S. Rowan, Ph.D., President & Owner, Performance Management Solutions

Cindy has served as President of her own firm, Performance Management Solutions since 1993. With more than 20 years of banking experience in the areas of Retail Banking, Credit & lending, and Human Resources, Cindy has helped organizations improve their profitability by designing and implementing performance management initiatives, corporate training programs, succession planning, and leadership program design and delivery.  Cited as a team showcase winner of the prestigious Malcolm Baldridge Award, Ms. Rowan has shared her expertise with not only a number of the nation’s largest financial institutions, but also with numerous other industries and smaller banking institutions.  She has served as an Adjunct Professor in Management and Organizational Development at both undergraduate and graduate levels.  Cindy holds a MA degree from Seton Hall University, completed post-graduate training at the University of Michigan, and is an active member of the American Society of Training & Development (ASTD.)

Philip Vassallo, Ed.D, Writing Consultant and Author

Dr. Vasallo has developed, delivered and supervised individual and group communication training programs for a wide range of administrative and technical professionals in the banking industry.  He is the author of two books and dozens of articles on writing. He holds a B.A. in English from Baruch College, an M.S. in education from Lehman College, and a doctorate in educational theory from Rutgers University.

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