The Indian Banking sector has always been one of the most preferred avenues of employment for students of commerce stream. However, in the recent past, people emanating from other streams have also turn out to the 9 to 5 duty. In the year 2015-16, a total of 1.27 crore banking aspirants registered for various Banking examinations conducted by the Institute of Banking and Personnel Selection (IBPS) alone. Fierce competition and a tough three tier recruitment process translated into a dismal selection ratio of 1:600.

PaGaLGuY attempts to bring the life of a Probationary Officer (PO), from selection to probation, day to day duties of a PO, scope for promotions, and of course Pay and Perks, in a series of articles.

Training of a Probationary Officer (PO):

The first two years for a PO are mostly spent on training, primarily on the job training in about 2-20 branches. Depending upon the bank, the induction training period can be of 1 to 8 weeks. The training emphasises on making the trainee PO conceptually as well theoretically clear with the Banking concepts.  During which, the trainee learns both the know-how and know-why of various banking practices.

On confirmation, which is usually after a written test, a P.O becomes a full-fledged officer and will be given an assignment in branch operations/credit/international banking etc. If one is lackadaisical in learning during the probation period, he/she will suffer later due to inadequacies in job knowledge in addition to creating a poor image for themselves.

Role after Induction Training:

1. Multitasking job  The role of Probationary Officer is a multitasking job and they are allotted various banking activities, which helps them to get familiar with various working procedures of the bank.

2. Real-world knowledge – POs are essentially trained in various fields like Marketing, Accounting, Loans & Advances as well as Finance.

3. Customer services  Often POs are required to interact with customers of the banks, also guide them about the banking facilities and products available with them. Customer complaints like discrepancies in accounts, rectification of undue charges are also handled by PO.

4. Management of Clerical work – All the clerical work such as managing cash, opening accounts and customer service, is done under the supervision of POs. For cash transactions, a PO is responsible and authorizes the transactions.

5. Loan Processing  One of the major functions of the bank i.e. providing loan to the needful is also taken care of by a PO. Before granting a loan to the customer, all required documents are to be verified under his/her supervision.

Pay scale:

The total salary of a PO on joining at a metro station is Rs.37145/-. However, the total salary of a PO in posted in a rural area is Rs 35800/.

Early experience of a PO 

A first hand experience of a bank PO.

My first branch was in a metro city of Gujarat, Due to our Bank’s poor presence in that region, we had a stress free working atmosphere in the branch. I used to do typical clerical work like passbook printing, account opening, etc. We used to close the branch at 7 pm. I got my first transfer within the first six months of my service and I was given a rural branch in Andhra Pradesh. It is a misconception that, a life of a Banker starts at 9 am and ends at 5 pm. For me it has started at 9 but it also ended at 9, making it a 12 hour duty for most days of the week. It is during this phase that I started feeling the heat and pressure that the position demanded. If your aim is to join PO and then study for other competitive exams, then I doubt this sector would provide you that ease.

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