Public sector banking in India has seen tremendous growth in the last few years. With this growth the manpower requirement in public sector banks has risen dramatically. Financial inclusion schemes run by the Govt. of India have also fuelled this requirement further. Under these schemes the Govt. is aiming to provide banking and other financial services to people across the country, even to those living in the remote corners. The onus of which primarily lies on public sector banks. Thus, they are in the process of setting up more and more branches and arranging manpower for the same. In this context, thousands of bank probationary officers and clerks are recruited every year.
Bank PO and clerk vacancies are filled through the medium of aptitude exams conducted by IBPS. IBPS PO and IBPS clerk exams are both conducted once a year and all nationalized banks participate in them as recruiters. SBI and its associate banks, however, conduct their own entrance exams. SBI PO and SBI clerk exams are conducted to fill the vacancies which arise in the State Bank group. In all, a bank exam aspirant can attempt around 4-5 exams a year. In addition to these, IBPS Specialist officer exam is another opportunity for professionals such as engineers, MBAs, chartered accountants, lawyers etc.
However, a lot of aspirants still don’t understand the job profile and career path of a bank employee while applying for these exams. They are unaware about the growth prospects that are there in public sector banking. Knowing about these aspects is not only important for taking an informed decision about one’s career but also for performing well in the interviews. Besides, the guidance that even a bank coaching institute provides is primarily limited to online aptitude examinations. Thus, the banking coaching that aspirants undergo seldom gives them clarity as to how they should tackle interview questions related to their future in public sector banking.
Growth Prospects – Clerical Grade
Public sector banks offer promotion from clerical grade to officer grade. The candidates who are recruited as clerks may be promoted as officers, depending on the promotion policy of the bank. For those who are deserving and committed promotion from clerical grade to officer grade may happen in only a year or so. Once a candidate enters the officer grade, his/her growth path is the same as that of an officer.
Growth Prospects – Officer Grade
The officer cadre is divided into four levels and seven scales. The hierarchy (from bottom to top) is as follows:
- Junior Management – Scale I (Officer)
- Middle Management – Scale II (Manager) & Scale III (Senior Manager)
- Senior Management – Scale IV (Chief Manager) & Scale V (Assistant General Manager)
- Top Management – Scale VI (Deputy General Manager) & Scale VII (General Manager)
After the completion of probation period, which generally lasts for about 2 years, a bank po gets confirmation as an assistant manager. At the start, he/she is generally given a branch banking profile which involves customer interaction and handling banking operations such as cheque clearance, loan disbursal, account opening, draft issuance etc. As one moves up the hierarchy, the level of responsibility increases. The roles that one handles also become progressively rewarding and challenging. Upon acquiring requisite experience and depending on one’s ability and skill set, one may be given an opportunity to handle corporate functions such as marketing, planning, budgeting and control, investment banking etc.For someone with ability and commitment this growth can be quite fast; one can even reach the level of General Manager, acting in the capacity of a zonal head or a corporate functional head, in about 15-20 years. Thereafter, an individual can aspire to be at the position of an executive director or a chairman of the bank. Nominations for these topmost positions are, however, made by the Govt. itself and not by individual banks.