Bank Probationary Officer
Tuesday, December 5, 2023
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Career as Bank Probationary Officer (Bank PO)

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Banking profession is one of the most attractive careers for young graduates. A Probationary Officer (PO), the most coveted managerial positions in the banking industry, is the starting level appointment for bank officers. 

Probationary officers (PO) are people who are in direct contact of their subordinates as well as prospective customers. After selection as a Probationary officer in a particular bank, the candidate has to go through induction training programmes in Management Training Academies of the particular banks. The duration of training period varies from bank to bank. 

Probationary Officers have to perform various responsibilities which involves:

The officers or probationers may undergo frequent transfers or deputations during the probation period. The performance of candidates during the probation period determines their position. After the completion of the probationary period, the candidate is confirmed as an Assistant Manager either in a branch or administrative office. Depending upon experience on bank's working procedures, personal skills and aptitude, they may be shifted to other areas like planning, marketing, budgeting, processing of loan, investment management etc. If the work proves unsatisfactory during probation period their services may be terminated at any time.

Some banks are now-a-days placing officers as Deputy Managers also, just after confirmation, provided they pass the test conducted by the bank.
For example, State Bank of India conducts a confirmation exam. If a probationary officer passes the exam, he is confirmed as an Assistant Manager. In fact, State Bank of India even gives a chance for promotion to Scale II for candidates who perform exceptionally well in the exam. 

How to become a Bank Probationary Officer

One can enter into the profession of PO only through the Probationary Officers (PO) Exams conducted by individual banks and an interview conducted by Banking Service Recruitment Board. If selected, they can join the bank at a junior level and have to undergo a probation period of 2 years during which they are trained on various banking functions such as accounting, marketing, finance, investment, billing etc. On probation, they hold the designation of an Assistant Manager (AM). They start their PO career as Junior Management Grade-I Service (JMG-Scale 1) Officer and can rise to the highest grades by becoming a General Manager, a Director or even the Chairman of the Bank.

Graduates from any stream can apply for the post of Probationary Officer. 

Details of Reserve Bank of India Probationary Officer (PO) Exam

Details of State Bank of India Probationary Officer (PO) Examination

Personal Skills/ Traits needed for PO

Bank Probationary Officer should have a well-organized mind with an eye for detail and excellent communication skills, both written and verbal. A mathematical aptitude, intelligence, self-confidence, ability to cope with stress and handle pressure, skill to maintain the records accurately and neatly, good marketing mind with good accounting and writing skills are the other essential qualities required for a good Bank PO. Integrity and honesty plays a major role in all dealings related to money and clients. They should have the ability to lead, motivate and manage the bank staff and be friendly and cooperative with colleagues and customers. A person responsible for foreign exchange transactions especially needs to have a sharp, quick and analytical mind. They should develop humane and team spirit qualities, an attractive, sincere and industrious personality. 

Job Prospects

Bank probationary officers job is an entry-level position, usually for public sector or large private-sector banks. The opportunities for PO also include working as officer in Personal Banking, Rural Banking, Credit, Forex, and Treasury etc at various places in India. Multinational banks provide foreign postings after a few years of excellent work with the bank.

There are lots of promotional avenues for people choosing Probationary Officer as a career option. Depending on skills and performances during the probation period, one can quickly climb the ladder and attain high-level positions such as Manager, Deputy Managers, General Managers and Chief General Manager in the bank. Promotions in the public sector banks are time - bound and fixed. But in the private sector, promotions are fast and quick for hardworking people and sky is the limit. Those with an additional management or finance degree can ensure quick progress up the hierarchy. 

The job of a probationary officer basically involves supervision of the clerical work, but their work description varies with bank. In private banks such as ICICI or HDFC etc, they are responsible for marketing or sales, A/c opening, Credit/Debit card etc. as well. The working hours in public sector banks are generally fixed but in private sector banks, one may have to put in extra hours of work at the office in addition to the regular hours. Although freshers may find it tough in the beginning, especially in a private bank, with time things will fall in place. The respectability and the lucrative aspects of the job makes it worthwhile.

Roles and duties performed by the Probationary Officer : 

All the above roles clearly state that Probationary officers are required to be well versed in all the branch activities because in the end, it is the Probationary Officer who is promoted to the cadre of Branch Manager.

Bank Probationary Officer Salary

Bank probationary officer job is an entry-level position, which brings in a handsome remuneration. The probation is for a period of two years and salary may vary from bank to bank and increases with experience. In public sector banks, a probationary officer will draw the starting basic pay between Rs.15,000 to Rs.25, 000 per month.

In addition to Basic Pay, bank officers (i.e. Probationary officers / PO / Management Trainees) are eligible for the following allowances :-

The amount of emoluments will vary depending on the place of posting. The officers are also entitled to other benefits like Medical Aid, low-interest-rate loans, as well as other perks.

There are number of other perks available to Bank officers and these vary from bank to bank, and even the amount of such perks vary from bank to bank. SBI gives more perks than all other nationalised banks. Some of the perks available to Bank officers are :-

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