What job does a RBI Grade ‘B’ officer do?

Picture for representation purpose only.

The Reserve Bank of India Act of 1935 empowered the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to perform the role of general superintendence and control of India’s banking system. The officers’ cadre are the operational backbone of RBI in India’s Monetary system. The Officer Grades in RBI are from ‘A’ to ‘F’, where Grade ‘A’ is for Assistant Managers and Grade ‘F’ is for Executive Director. When RBI Assistants clear an internal promotion exam, they are appointed as Officers in Grade ‘A’ and join as Assistant Managers. One must serve at least for three years as Assistants before they can give the internal exam. Grade ‘B’ officers, on the other hand, join as Managers in RBI after they clear RBI Grade ‘B’ (Direct Recruitment) Exam. Grade ‘B’ officer is the only direct officer level entry into Reserve Bank of India (RBI).

Role of RBI Grade ‘B’ officers

RBI offices are divided into two parts – Central office and Regional offices. There are 31 regional offices and one Central office. The Central office is in Mumbai. Different departments like Banking Regulation and Supervision, Non-Banking Regulation and Supervision, Currency Management, Government and Bank Accounts function under the Regional offices. All these are run by RBI officers. 

A General Manager (GM) with RBI who spoke to PaGaLGuY said, “Central office is entrusted with supervision work and regional offices do the regulation work. Circulars and notifications about policy decisions are issued by Central office. The implementation of these is looked after by the Regional offices.”

About the job profile of officers in RBI, she said, “An officer’s job profile depends on the department he/she is posted in. There are four clusters namely- financial markets and infrastructure, monetary policy and research, regulation and risk management and supervision and inclusion in which an officer is assigned. One moves up within the cluster or may be transferred to others also.” Elaborating with an example, she said, “Officers working with department of Banking Supervision inspect and ensure that commercial banks are complying with RBI directives.”  

When Grade ‘B’ officers move up the hierarchy, they are appointed as Deputy Governors. Two out of four Deputy Governors of RBI are drawn from the officer cadre of RBI. For example, currently, N S Vishwanathan and R. Gandhi are two Deputy Governors who started their career at RBI as Grade ‘B’ officers. 

Hierarchy of RBI Officers

  • Assistant Manager
  • Manager
  • Assistant General Manager
  • Deputy General Manager
  • General Manager
  • Chief General Manager
  • Principal Chief General Manager
  • Executive Director
  • Deputy Governor

A job at RBI is not a typical bank job and it will make you part of the decision-making process which affects the banking industry in India. The nature of RBI is regulatory and supervisory, so every day is full of challenges in terms of formulating new policies and guidelines for banks on varied issues like financial inclusion, KYC norms, bank deposits, cash reserve ratios and interest rates. Also, it is important to ensure banks comply with RBI rules. RBI officers lead such activities from the front. 

Promotions in the RBI are based on exams and is thus very competitive and hierarchical especially at the senior levels such as for General Managers. As officers working in the country’s central bank, candidates gain exposure in aspects of currency management, external investments, financial stability, banking and non-banking supervision, and payment and settlement systems.  Thus, candidates who join RBI as Grade ‘B’ officers enter an exciting world of managing monetary resources of the economy helping the country achieve its aspirations.