Bank Probabtionary Officer (PO)

A Probationary Officer (Bank P.O.) is generally an assistant manager of Scale I in any bank. To start with, a candidate is a Junior Manager and thus positioned as a Scale I Officer. After the selection criteria and eligibility is completed, a Probationary Officer has to go through an intensive training program at specific bank training center where they are trained. The probation period of a Bank PO may last for 2-3 years. This timeline may differs from bank to bank.

What do you do ?

A Bank P.O. in any bank is also called a Management Trainee (MT) usually in public sector banks. After being selected through a highly competitive selection process, which we will be discussing in coming paragraphs.

Upon joining the bank, a candidate is given an intensive training. For Bank P.O job roles, candidates from several different academic backgrounds join a Bank and thus the training can include knowledge of banking operations which covers front end and back end responsibilities. Few of the examples of job duties we have already covered, however just for revising the concept it includes knowledge of accounting entries and process, day to day procedures in bank, working simultaneously on various functions of a bank including marketing, credit department, recovery, human resource, due dilgence handling and etc. 

As the name pf job implies, a candidate remains under probation, usually for a period of 2-3 years, depending on respective bank policy. After the probation/training period, the candidate is screened and may be offered a position in the next higher grade i.e. an Officer level rank in Middle management. This is usually akin to being an assistant manager in a Bank. From thereon, career progression depends on the performance of the employee and he can reach senior management in about 8 years.

Looking a long term scenario, a career starting as Probationary Officer provides a stable yet challenging work environment with good pay comparable to other professions. There are transfers every few years, so, one needs to consider that into the equation. 

How to get there

Government Public Sector Banks along with SBI releases a few thousand vacancies for Bank PO positions every year. In terms of selection process, SBI conducts its own 3 layered examination which breaks into (i) a preliminary (1 hour), (ii) a mains exam (3 hours) and then concludes with a descriptive essay test.

On the otehr side, The Institute of Banking Personnel Selection (IBPS) which is an independent body which has been authorized to conduct and evaluate recruitment for several public sector banks. Their examinations are also distributed in 3 phases which includes 1 preliminary test, 1 mains test and an interview.

In terms of competativeness, both exams are highly competitive with acceptance rates of less than 1% of the total applicants. Due to this, one need a good level of aptitude and intensive preparation in all the topics of the examination.

What is the Salary for a Bank PO?

Recently, SBI and its associated banks has announced the salary range for Bank P.O. which ranges from INR 7 lacs to INR 12 lacs depending on place of posting and other factors. Talking about Bank P.Os in other banks are also fall in the same range.

What is the Eligibility of becoming a Bank PO?

- A candidate must be 21-30 years of age while applying for Bank PO exam. Age relaxation of 5 years is given to candidates belonging to SC and ST. the candidates belonging to OBC categories are given an age relaxation of 3 years. The ex-servicemen and the candidates holding Jammu and Kashmir quota are also given an age relaxation of 5 years.

- The minimum academic qualification of the candidate must be a graduate from a designated University.

How do you excel in this career ?

A good banker is supposed to have Good communication skills (verbal and written) that are needed in effective interaction with the clients as well as the staff. In fact good communication skills has become an important aspect in most of the Job arenas today But in Banks it's a matter of Centralized Importance and is a matter basic underline importance for a candidate who wishes to get entry into any of the private or public sector banks of the country. Those joining as Bank PO (Probationary Officers) are asked to follow the guidelines and do assignments given to them by their senior managers In the probation period that lasts about 2-3 years and the bank reserves the right to eliminate an officer if found unsuitable for the job.

  • Good communication skills
  • Ability to make calculations
  • Quick
  • Accurate
  • Well organized
  • Flexibility
  • Willing to transfer to other branches

Firstly, anybody who join bank as a Bank P.O. normally gets very fast promotion and upscale its career on higher trajectory. There are normally two types of entry level jobs in the banks, which are clerk and officer. However, for Bank P.O. there is no limit in the banks as far as career progression is concerned. Hstroically, majority of chairman of Government Public State Unit Banks including SBI bank had started their careers as a Probationary Officer only and gradually they excelled and climbed to the top leadership poistion of banks.

Miscallaneous Things

Being a Bank P.O., a candidate selected for this post are ideally young officers who have either freshly graduated, they have a great enthusiasm, hardworking and have a zest to learn and hence they are imparted with some really serious responsibilities by the bank.

A Bank P.O. is trained and get an exposure on multiple verticals such as finance, taxation, marketing, accounting, billing, investment etc. during its probation period in order to acquaint them with various working procedures of the bank. This is basically done by entrusting them with responsibilities and jobs in these categories. The main purpose of the bank in today's time is to provide optimal service to its customers. A Bank PO has to make sure that the business of the bank doesn' take any hit but also it keeps on increasing by handling customer complaints properly, addressing various customer related issues such as discrepancies in accounts, rectification of undue charges etc.

When they get acclimatized to the banks’ norms they are provided with more serious responsibilities such as planning, budgeting, loan processing, investment management etc.