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Banks Will Be Open Tomorrow October 21, 2006

Posted by Teller in Banking, Counter Closed.

Over the weekend relatives have been calling incessently to inquire about working hours during Eid. Here is what you need to know:

Banks will be open tomorrow (Sunday) with Ramadan hours, morning and evening. Banks will be closed on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. We open once again on Thursday with normal hours.

From experience I predict that all banks will be overflowing with customers on Sunday and Thursday. Please be patient with all branch employees because they are the ones who will be stressed out with this work schedule.

عيدكم مبارك و كل عام وانتم بخير


Friday SEQ (Search Engine Queries) September 29, 2006

Posted by Teller in Banking.

Blog statistics inform you of your readers and, dear Readers, I’ve come to depend on them to see who’s visiting me. Over the past few months I’ve viewed a plethora of search engine queries. Some are disjointed words pieced together whilst others are honest inquiries that called out to me. I would like this space to be of use to all readers and subsequently I am going to compile some of the SEQs and try my best to provide helpful answers.

SEQ) how much do bank tellers make

Salaries vary from bank to bank. The starting salary is roughly KD450 but things you must take into consideration are:

  • Educational Level: University graduates make more than high school graduates by KD50-200. If you factor in the governmental supplement add another KD100-200 to the original figure.
  • Previous Experience: Entry-level employees make substantially less than their mid-level counterparts. Seniority and grade level can also cause general and evening shift salary to be higher.
  • Evening Shift: This is one of the major salary boosters. Some banks require that employees work five evening shifts and others may request that you work two. Not only does the number of shifts you work raise your salary but also the bank you’re working at. The going rate for an evening shift (usually three hours long) is anywhere from KD8 to KD14.
  • Incentives: One of the perks of the job is being rewarded for sales you generate. Again, this varies from bank to bank but the best banks reward you for every credit card you issue, every fixed deposit you bring in and every salary transferred. There are both personal incentives and branch incentives. This one is great for team players. Help your branch meet its target and you will benefit financially.

Take into account that not everyone starts on an even playing field and there are many more factors that I haven’t mentioned. An example is the teller I’ve heard of that started fresh from University and was getting KD650 + Governmental Supplement + Evening Shifts + Incentives. You can make a lot of money as a teller if you play your cards right. Of course you can also lose a lot of money if you are horrible at it so tread carefully!

I hope I answered your SEQ fully. Is there more information you need to know or would like to add to the subject? Let me know in the comments,


For Better or For Worse July 11, 2006

Posted by Teller in Banking.

Earlier today I came across a blog by a Dr. Lost. After scanning his posts I saw that he perceived himself as a controversial writer. The post that caught my eye, naturally, was in reference to NBK and Gulf Bank, two of the leading local banks.

To summarize, he and an acquaintance had both gone to their banks in order to get a Salary Certificate paper. At Gulf Bank he claims his friend’s paperwork took 25 minutes to be completed. When he went to his bank, NBK, the same paperwork took 4 minutes. On this basis he writes, “so WHY WHY WHY is it that NBK is soo much better than Gulf bank? i mean, better customer service, faster service, in general i feel better services r available at NBK .. do u guys agree?” I don’t imagine he made those statements based on that singular experience but it is the only one he mentioned.

There is a lot of competiveness between banks here in Kuwait. At the same time, it’s not the extreme brand of rivalry you often find existing between schools and universities at sporting events. Most people have several family members working at different banks. That effectively nips any extreme rivalries in the bud.

Reflecting on the post I realized that there are many other elements that one must allow for before the experiences of Dr. Lost and his friend could be compared. Firstly, the branch and time of day affect the length of time spent in the bank. Not all branches are busy. Location affects how crowded a branch is and so does the hour you choose to go. Secondly, the delay of a transaction could be due to the number of customers ahead of you waiting to be assisted. And most importantly, the person helping you can have a profound impact on your waiting time. A new nervous trainee will definitely take longer than seasoned staff. I’ve seen it happen time and time again. A transaction that I could finish in two minutes, another could take another fifteen minutes. I’ve been to branches in other banks and had to wait for half an hour because of untrained or incompetant people.

My personal opinion if you compare the two, NBK will end up the winner even if you judge it solely on the vast amount of capital it has. Gulf Bank constantly challenges itself and is trying to grow as quickly as possible to compete with NBK. It’s doing a good job but has been holding second place for years now. Neither of these banks offer anything out of the ordinary. They will keep their eyes on the new foreign banks entering the market. These are the banks they should compete against instead of each other because these foreign banks are superior to both NBK and Gulf Bank and will offer their clients investment opportunities neither bank has.

Working Hours April 24, 2006

Posted by Teller in Banking, Kuwait.

For my international readers (Vixen!) I believe an explanation on the timetable of work weeks in Kuwait is due. That we start and end our weeks on different days than the majority of the world may be an alien notion to people who are used to their Monday-Fridays at work and lounging on Saturdays and Sundays. Just keep in mind that your work week was once as foreign to me as this sounds to you. I didn't always understand why Garfield hated Mondays so much.

A typical Kuwaiti work week starts on Saturday and ends on Wednesday. Thursdays and Fridays make up the weekend. This schedule is the norm in Kuwait as the majority of the Kuwaiti workforce is employed by the public sector.

Banks in Kuwait have a different work week altogether. Our week starts on Sunday and ends on Thursday. We have Fridays and Saturdays off. That's why Sundays and Thursdays are the busiest days at work for me. They signify the first and last day of my week. Our weeks and weekends differ from the rest of the populance which is convinient on weekends when you don't want to tackle traffic.

Nearly all the banks in Kuwait have one or two branches that deviate from this regular schedule to provide customers with service when the majority of the branches are closed. I work in a normal branch so I adhere to the Sunday-Thursday work week.

In addition, we have two work shifts a day instead of following a 9-5 schedule. This lineup is why I see my co-workers more than my family and why they have become my family.