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Banking – as a Career in India
Banking has always been a lucrative career for young graduates. With the push of financial inclusion, new
banks coming in and the initiatives taken by the Indian Government to prioritise JAM (Jandhan, Aadhar,
Mobile transactions), the Indian economy is exponentially increasing the opportunities, especially for
Banking aspirants. RBI has issued 21 new banking licences out of which 11 new banks are already
operational. They include two full-service banks (IDFC and Bandhan), seven Small Finance Banks and two
Why choose a Banking Sector Job?
The Banking sector offers the best opportunities for graduates, compared to other industries. Even when the
overall job creation was low, the Banking sector contributed the maximum towards employment in FY2017
– roughly around 21%. You can read more details here. In addition to this, here are some more advantages
of a career in the banking industry –
Comparatively high job security, even in the private sector
Good social standing
High growth sector
How to get a job in the Banking Sector?
For a graduate, there are various ways to start a career in Banking. The most popular & aspirational route, is
to join a Public Sector Bank (PSB), as a Probationary Officer (PO).
Before we look at the ‘How’, let us quickly see What a Probationary Officer does!
A Probationary Officer designated as an Assistant Manager in a Public Sector bank. After spending the
initial 12-24 months in probation, he/she gets confirmed as Assistant Manager.
The responsibilities of a Bank PO Interview, would be –
Bringing in Business: As a PO, you’re expected to bring in revenues by promoting the products of the bank
and its partners. These products include fixed deposits, mutual funds, insurance policies, credit cards etc.,
Reporting: A major part of the POs responsibility is generating End of Day reports (deposits, withdrawals
etc.,), managing the day’s closings to avoid any mismatch.
Customer Service:Involves servicing branch customers in account opening, deposits, receipts, ATM
cards, chequebooks, loans etc., Note that this is not a direct responsibility of a PO, as these services are
predominantly handled by the clerical staff.
Other major responsibilities include Cash Handling, Payment clearance, Managing internal
communication, Supervision of clerical work, Loan processing, etc.
Coming to the ‘How’–
IBPS PO Exam:
All Public Sector Banks (PSBs) except SBI, hire Probationary Officers (POs) through the IBPS (Institute
of Banking Personnel Selection) exam. IBPS conducts the PO exams once in a year. Aspirants will have to
clear Prelims, Mains and IBPS Interview, to get selected. The procedure is common across all the Public
Sector Banks, except SBI. At the end of the process, you will be allocated to the bank you have selected,
based on your preference and ranking.
Note that, the Ibps PO exam is fiercely competitive! Here are some statistics –
In 2016, for 8862 vacancies, a mammoth 30 lakh candidates appeared for the prelims! Out of which, 1.8
lakh candidates were selected for Mains and just 27,000 – about 3:1 – made it to the interviews.
Click here to know more about the IBPS Bank PO exam, 2018.
The SBI PO Exam:
Did you know, State Bank of India (SBI) was once the Central Bank? That is, it performed the function that
RBI, the banking regulator, performs today! SBI is the largest bank in India with more than 2 Lakh
employees. It separately conducts its own PO exam to recruit Probationary Officers. Every PO aspirant
aspires to join State Bank of India.
Similar to IBPS, 25 lakh+ candidates applied for a mere 2403 vacancies in SBI PO 2017. 6376 candidates
made it to the Personal Interview round.
Click here to know more about the SBI PO exam.
Given the competitive nature of the exams, you must prepare wisely – for all the stages, not just the written
Reserve Bank of India (RBI) – Grade ‘B’ Officer:
RBI’s grade B Officer is one of the most prestigious banking jobs that graduates aspire to get into. Thanks to
the attractive take-home salaries of approximately INR 65,000 that grade B officers start their career
with. Alsoit’s more cool to work for the Banker of Banks, rather than a Bank, right?
Having said that, there were only 161 vacancies announced in 2017 and 2 lakh+ applicants! Which means
tougher competition to get in!.
Private Sector Banks:
If the chances of getting into a public sector bank or RBI seem farfetched to you, an equal or
better career is up for grabs in the Private banking sector.
Why the Private Sector?
Let’s get something straight! Public sector bank jobs are no more your relaxing, settled for life peaceful
jobs! Bad loans piled up over years at the PSBs, has led to a major shake-up. The government is getting
Public sector banks to follow their private counterparts in terms of efficiency, HR policies, Risk
Management etc., Targets and sales pressure will also become a reality here, as in the Private sector; but you
may not see the same level of growth, that you can in the Private sector.
Read this comprehensive article to know what the private sector is and the various opportunities here.
[Includes the list of new banks now operational]
Unlike PSBs and RBI grade ‘B’officer exams, there’s no ‘One Exam Cracks All’ formula for the private
banks. You need to keep a track of the openings in each bank and apply for it, basis your competencies and
eligibility. Here’s a list of some popular private banks and their career pages.
HDFC Bank – http://www.hdfcbank.com/aboutus/careers/
ICICI Bank – http://www.icicicareers.com/
Axis Bank – http://www.axisbank.com/careers/
IDFC Bank – https://careers.idfcbank.com/
Yes Bank – https://www.yesbank.in/work-with-us/career-opportunities
Bandhan Bank – https://www.bandhanbank.com/recruitment.aspx
IndusInd Bank – http://www.indusind.com/careers
As the career page will have a huge bunch of CVs, you must write a crisp, CUSTOMISED cover note for
each bank; your CV must have a standout factor, to get it shortlisted. A great project, internship or a
banking-specific certification, are a must-have.