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HindustanTimes Sat,20 Sep 2014
Job cheque
Hindustan Times
New Delhi, August 29, 2012
First Published: 12:17 IST(29/8/2012)
Last Updated: 12:24 IST(29/8/2012)
Growing and how: Fierce competition among private and public sector banks has created a need for more probationary officers

The lowdown
Banks have had a total makeover in the last two decades. Today, it is not just about withdrawals and deposits, or about getting demand drafts made. Fierce competition among private and public sector banks to get the largest slice of the market pie has created a need for more probationary officers (POs ). These are people who must understand and deal with various new offerings such as online banking, securities and investments, asset management and corporate banking. After joining a bank, officers are on one-year probation, during which they are assigned work in various departments, including forex operations, general banking, loans and merchant banking. Dealing with cash, selection of cheques, completing routine bank work such as bill collection, cheque clearances and loan processing etc makes a PO familiar with every aspect of banking. After probation, their designations are decided on the basis of their performance

Clockwork
9am: Reach office
9.30am: Finish pending work
10am: Meet clients
1.30 pm: Lunch
2pm: Analyse accounts of customers; resolve their queries and process applications
3pm: Work on clearance of cheques, cash management, draft issuance etc
6pm: Leave for home

The payoff
Pay scales in public sector banks: A probationary officer’s starting salary is around Rs.30,000 per month. It increases with experience

Skills/TRAITS
* Be receptive when it comes to training and alert about bank functions
* Be cooperative and friendly with colleagues, other bank staff and customers
* Develop humane and intelligent leadership qualities, communication skills and authority

Getting there
Graduates from any stream can apply to a public sector bank as a PO. Every bank recruits its staff through a written test, group discussion and interview

Institutes and URLs  
* Graduation from any recognised university. The Indian Institute of Banking and Finance, Mumbai, offers certificate and diploma courses in banking and finance through the distance learning mode. For details visit http://www.iibf.org.in/
* The Indira Gandhi National Open University offers a PG diploma in rural banking
www.ignou.ac.in

Pros and cons
* You get to deal in numbers
* You get respect as a banker
* Brighter chances of job security
* Some clients may be very difficult to handle
* You may be asked to handle other work assigned by the bank besides the general banking and administration work
* You will be assigned responsibilities as directed by a senior manager. Be prepared for training in accounting, marketing, finance, investment and billing

The career is challenging and highly rewarding - you get to train with a bank and it’s a pensionable job - Sailesh Kumar Gupta, retired deputy general manager, State Bank of India


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