Banking services are considered among the most stable, lucrative, and prestigious career paths in our country. It is one of the top white-collar jobs that you can apply for and there is immense scope for growth throughout your career. Lakhs of students every year apply for the position of Probationary Officers in different banks across the country. There are several exams like IBPS PO, SBI PO, etc. which are national level entrance tests for these jobs. But what after you crack the exam? As anyone with a graduation degree can apply for this position, often they are completely at a loss about what their job role is going to be and what is expected of them. Let us explore further in detail the job role and responsibilities of Probationary Officers in banks, their career growth, and the overall perks and benefits associated with this position.
Training, Confirmation and Promotion Test
After cracking the exam and qualifying the interview round as well, you will be given the appointment letter which contains the details of your salary breakdown, the branch where you are being posted, etc. This is the beginning of your journey as an SBI PO. This is an entry-level job role and you will be joining with 2-years of branch posting as Scale-I. The seniors in the bank will be training you regarding different departments like personal banking, SME, currency chest, Pension department, and many more. If your department changes in the probationary period, your location is also likely to change. So you can expect 2 transfers in the span of two years.
Check IBPS PO Pattern & Syllabus
Responsibilities during the Probationary Period
The job role during the probationary period is slightly more challenging than the demands faced as a confirmed PO. During this period, the PO is trained to get familiar with the different functions of the various departments in the bank as well as with the operation of the bank.
- Candidates will receive training through practical performance in different departments like finance, marketing, billing, accounts, and investment. By conducting training through practical experience, the employees on probation are made more knowledgeable and experienced at their work.
- There are many duties of the PO that has to be managed as well. These are issuing cheque books, ATM cards, and demand Drafts, checking for discrepancies in the accounts, managing all kinds of customer queries, and managing the correction of undue charges.
- The basics of managerial tasks are also taught during this phase and they have to perform several tasks like verifying documents, supervising the clerical works, managing the cash balance, etc. which are actually job roles of a managerial post.
- Once the probationary period is over, the employees will have to sit for an internal screening as well as a promotion test. On clearing this test you will be promoted to scale-2 directly.
Job Role of Bank PO
The following are the role of the Bank PO in more details-
- As discussed earlier, during the probation period, the employee will have to do all types of jobs which can be clerical as well as managerial. This is mainly done to familiarise the new recruits with the different functioning of the bank.
- After the probation period is successfully completed, the employee can be posted in any branch of the bank as an assistant bank manager. They have to now manage daily customer transactions like passing a cheque, draft issuance, etc.
- They will also have to work towards improving the banks’ businesses by properly managing the cash flow, loans, mortgages, and other finances.
- The PO also has to work as a public relations officer. They have to handle customer complaints, and also deal with any kind of discrepancy issues in the client’s accounts. They have to rectify any mistakes in the accounts and manage the undue charges and also carefully consider complaints regarding the banks’ services.
- The tasks that the Probationary Officer is assigned in the due course of time entirely depends on their efficiency and how well they are able to adapt to the working of the bank. Eventually, they can also be assigned more serious banking tasks like planning, budgeting, loan processing and approval, investment management, etc.
- There are limited managerial tasks of the Probationary officer like supervising the clerical operations, managing the cash balance, and important and impromptu decision making for the benefit of the bank.
- The PO is also responsible for verifying all the tasks that are done by the clerks. All kinds of roles in the bank involve the active participation of the maker and the checker. For example, if there is a matter of cash transaction through a clerk then that person will be the maker. The activity must be supervised and thoroughly checked by the PO who is the checker in this scenario. Any responsibility related to mistakes and losses will lie with the checker.
- The PO has to take responsibilities for loan-related documents and site visiting if necessary in case of loan approvals in some cases.
- The PO must also be aware of all the latest developments in the bank and read all the circulars that are being issued as well as be aware of all kinds of decisions taken by the bank management.
Check IBPS PO Application & Registration
Salary, Benefits, and Perks of Bank PO
The salary scale is lucrative even at an entry-level and there are many perks and periodic increments that altogether make the position a very secure one. Compared to many other government sector jobs, the salary of the PO including the perks and benefits is relatively higher.
- The basic pay starts from INR 23,700. The overall monthly salary including the benefits is approximately 40,000 INR per month which is indeed quite high for an entry-level position.
- There are HRA benefits which will vary between 6% and 15% of the basic payment depending on the location or the branch where the PO is posted. If you are posted outside your city, this is the biggest expense that is well covered by the HRA amount that is paid by the bank.
- The dearness allowance or DA is approximate 10,700 INR for bank PO which is another major perk that attracts aspirants towards this post.
- Hospitalization, leave fare concessions and reimbursement are also very attractive making this job opportunity the most stable one that you can get. In case of illness, the employee will get a leave fare. In the case of hospitalization, INR 700 per day is granted for room allowance in a hospital.
- Other reimbursements include 1st class AC tickets for trains and economy class flights, and taxi charges for work-related travel as well as an allowance for holiday trips of the employees are available.
- There is a deputation allowance that is awarded during the 2 years of probation. In case the employee has to relocate or transfer to another branch during this time an amount of INR 1500 per day is given apart from the usual travel allowance.
- Other benefits and perks include newspaper expenses and reimbursement for up to 35 litres of petrol expenses. Some banks also give telephone and entertainment expenses. Many banks have reimbursements for furniture allowance, briefcase, cheaper loans, and various life insurance policies.
Working hours and stress of Bank PO
The stress associated with the job depends on the branch where you are posted. The workload is definitely higher in branches which are located in metro cities or are head office and regional offices. On the other hand, a local branch is not as tiring and challenging. Also since a large part of the job is related to client interaction, the stress can be variable on a day to day basis. But if you love the job and enjoy a good challenge and have the ambition for growth, being a Bank PO will definitely attract you.
The general working hours of a bank PO in ideal situations are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. that is also the usual banking hour of India. The lunch break varies from bank to bank. However, in case there is a higher workload, and end of a financial year, the work hours can get extended.
Check IBPS PO Result & Counselling
Career Growth and Opportunities of Bank PO
There is an ample opportunity for career growth in the banking sector, especially if you are joining as a probationary officer. Especially in the case of SBI, the work culture is very strong and there are periodic promotion exams that can give the employees an immense scope for growth. Hence the chance of escalating to a better position is much higher in SBI. Specifically, in government banks, the appraisal system is very transparent and fair which means hard work will definitely pay off.
Here is a career graph for employees if you are joining as a Bank PO-
- Scale 1- This is the entry-level position right after your appointment and generally lasts for two years after which you have to sit for a screen and promotion test. This is the time when the recruited person is familiarized with the banks’ functions.
- Scale 2- The candidate will be promoted to scale 2 or the position of an assistant officer which is a permanent position and have similar job responsibilities like scale 1.
- Scale-3- The position is of the branch manager which means the candidate can become the head of the branch.
- Scale 4- This is a promotion to the role of the chief manager which means you are going to be responsible for the main branch in the city which is also a bigger branch.
- Scale 5- Promotion to the position of Assistant General Manager and the responsibility of a cluster of banks in a region is bestowed.
- Scale 6- The employee gets further promoted to Deputy General Manager who is in charge of an entire zone that is inclusive of several regions of the state.
- Scale 7- Chief General Manager is responsible for heading a circle like a specific state.
- Scale 8- The position of general manager and has office at the country headquarters, this is also the post that gives the employee entry into the senior management of the bank.
Check IBPS PO Practice Papers
The life of a bank PO is exciting but depends really on what excites you truly. If prospects of growth and an ambitious career that is stable, respected and offers a lucrative pay package are exciting to you, this is a role you will enjoy. We hope the perks, benefits, and challenges we have highlighted inspire you to be more motivated towards cracking the entry-level bank exams in the country and wish you the very best!