Trainees run the business

Banks have to fight hard to win back their customers' trust. A private bank in the German city of Essen now started a bold experiment: In one of its branch offices trainees run the business.

The National-Bank Essen as a financial institution is rich in tradition with 800 employees, 100,000 customers and a balance worth 4 billion euros. In one of the bank's branch offices, five trainees at the age of 20, who are about to complete their second year of training are the only employees to take care of the customers' needs.

The project "trainee branch office" started in April 2009, right in the middle of the worldwide financial crisis. The idea is much older, though. The bank's trainees are to learn to work autonomously. The bank attaches great importance to this concept and thus created this special working environment. Each trainee team stays for ten weeks and the members divide all tasks among themselves on their own. Only credit banking and investment consulting are conducted by senior staff.

Various other companies have already adopted the concept, which is very popular among the public and potential job applicants and thus also very benficial for employers. The bank and its training programme have risen in public awareness and public estimation. As an employer, the bank is confident to find even more and better job applicants in the future.

Source: Financial Times Deutschland, revised by iMOVE, February 3, 2009