Career Growth in a Nationalized Bank – A Year Wise Coverage of Change in Responsibilities, Career Progression etc.

Why public-sector banks?

The following banks are known as public sector banks in our country, namely; State Bank of India, Nationalised banks and Regional Rural Banks. The government holding in terms of shares in these banks is 51% or more. When it comes to employees working in public sector banks, they are considered equivalent to employees working in any other central government organizations.

The employee working in public sector banks is assured of job security unless any mistake of fraud or negligence in duties is committed by such employee during his work life. On account of the above facts a large number of candidates having qualifications in different streams aspire to get an entry into public sector banks. It has been estimated that more than 18 lakhs candidates are appearing for each bank examination conducted by IBPS for recruitment in public sector banks.

Job specifications:

At present, banks are recruiting employees in the following cadres namely;

  • Clerks/assistants in Scale “0”
  • Officers/specialized officers in Scale “1”
  • Managers in Scale “2”

Banking and Government Exams


  • On successful completion of the final examinations conducted by IBPS, the selected candidates are posted in a bank depending upon the options exercised by the candidate.
  • A clerical employee can be posted in a branch, administrative unit, Regional Offices, Zonal offices or Head office. The role and responsibilities differ according to the place of posting.
  • A clerical employee posted in a branch is expected to fulfill the requirements of the customers attending the bank branches. The nature of work may be- opening deposit accounts, issue of pass books, debit cards, cheque books, cash receipts and payments, issue of demand drafts, opening loan accounts and follow up of loan accounts etc.,
  • A clerical employee posted in Regional Offices, Circle offices and Head office is expected to work in different sections namely; recovery, inspection, human resources department, development, agriculture, internal control etc., They will be assisting the officers and managers in their respective sections in regard to preparation of various reports, letters, statements etc.,
  • This apart, a clerical employee can also be posted in service centres, clearing units, currency chests, retail lending branches, industrial branches etc.,
  • The performance of the clerical employees is watched keenly by their immediate supervisors and depending upon the level of their involvement in their work, performance, time management, quality of service extended to the customers, they are awarded marks which are recorded in their service records.
  • A clerical employee having graduate qualifications and above can appear for promotion as officer in scale “1”, on completion of six years’ of service. The employees who have successfully completed JAIIB and CAIIB examinations conducted by Indian Institute of Banking and Finance gain service weightage upto two years apart from yearly increments. Such employees are eligible to appear on completion of four years’ of successful service. They are expected to appear for promotion examinations conducted by the bank followed by interview and the selected candidates are promoted as officers in Scale “1”.
  • However, depending upon the exigencies, commercial banks sometimes reduce the eligibility conditions in terms of number of years’ of service.

Banking and Government Exams

Officers in Scale “1”:

  • On successful completion of the final examination followed by personal interview the selected candidates are posted as officers in various banks.
  • Similar to clerical employees the officers are posted in branches, Regional offices, Zonal offices and Head office. The role and responsibilities differ according to the place of posting.
  • An officer working in a branch may be assisted by two or more clerical employees and the officer has to allocate the work to the clerical employees under his control and supervise the work done by the employees.
  • The officer verifies the correctness of the work performed by the clerical employees and since the banks deal with money, such overall supervision is indispensable when it comes to monetary transactions namely; credit entries, cash deposits, cash payments beyond certain limits, opening of accounts, closure of accounts etc.,
  • This apart, officers are expected to assist the managers and the branch heads in regard to recovery of loans, development, inspection and preparation of various returns and statements namely; balance sheet, profit and loss account etc.,
  • The officers posted in Regional offices, Zonal offices and Head office do not have any contacts with customers of the bank and the officers are expected to work in various units namely; recovery, inspection, development, internal control, agriculture etc., and on the one hand they will be supervising the clerks under their control, on the other hand they will be assisting the managers who are in charge of the respective units.
  • The officers are eligible to appear for promotion as managers in scale “2” on completion of required number of years’ of service and banks conduct promotion examinations depending upon the vacancies available and in case of more demand, they used to relax the conditions in regard to service weightage. During such situations, the officers are eligible to appear for promotion examinations within a short period. In some banks officers are promoted as managers on completion of two to three years’ of service as officers in scale I.
  • In fact, the employees working in banks have a lot of opportunities to increase their knowledge level and there is a vast scope to learn and understand a lot of information which includes, economy, risk management, management information system, human resources management, cash management, forex management, industrial development, agriculture and related activities etc.,

Managers in scale “2”:

  • Examinations are conducted for recruitment as managers by some banks. The candidates are selected as managers on successful completion of the final examination followed by interview and they are posted in the banks according to the option exercised by such candidates.
  • Managers posted as branch heads in small and medium branches and they are posted as section heads in large and very large branches. They have added responsibilities and the manager posted as a branch head is expected to take care of the entire branch and he is responsible for the development of the branch in different segments namely – deposit mobilization, sanction of loans, recovery of loans, better internal control, periodical submission of various returns and statements, better customer relationship and many more. He is expected to reach the targets earmarked for the branch by the administrative units of the bank. In this connection, he has to motivate his employees comprising of officers, specialized officers, clerks and others.
  • Managers can also be posted in Regional offices, Zonal offices and Head office and they will be assisting the higher officials in regard to policy matters, implementation of various policies and plans etc.,
  • Managers are eligible to appear for promotion examinations as and when vacancies are declared by the bank and in the case of more number of vacancies, they get an opportunity to get promoted within a short time. They are expected to appear for the promotion examinations conducted by the banks followed by an interview. The promotion of a manager depends upon his performance in work and interview.

Banking and Government Exams

Other senior officials:

  • There are different kinds of managerial functions in each bank and the following is the top down approach when it comes to the managerial functions in a bank:
  • Chairman and managing director – He is the top management cadre in any bank. He is responsible for the development of the bank as a whole and he percolates the messages through the next junior level officials working in Regional offices, Zonal offices and Head office for being implemented through the branches. He is appointed by Government of India duly recommended by the central bank
  • Executive Director: He assists the Chairman and managing director in implementing various plans and policies in the bank. Executive Directors are appointed by Government of India duly recommended by Reserve Bank of India.
  • Chief General manager – Scale VIII
  • General Manager – Scale VII
  • Deputy General Manager – Scale VI
  • Assistant General Manager – Scale V
  • Divisional Manager – Scale IV
  • Senior Manager – Scale III
  • Manager – Scale II
  • Officer – Scale I

Career growth in banks:

The potential for career growth is found to be brighter in commercial banks than in any other organizations. Once getting an entry into the bank, an employee who looks upward starts performing well. He appears for JAIIB and CAIIB examinations exclusively conducted for bank employees and gains service weightage upto two years apart from getting monetary rewards in the form of increments. He gets promotion to next higher scale at the shortest possible time than his colleagues.

Promotion examinations are conducted for each cadre upto Scale III followed by interviews. Promotions are purely based on the performance of officials commencing from Scale IV and above. They are selected through interviews and they need not appear for any examinations.

Nowadays, it has been found that vast section of best performing employees who had joined the bank as officers thirty to forty years back retiring as Chief General Managers or General Managers.

There is no doubt that public sector banks provide better career opportunities to their employees who contribute best for the development of the organizations.

About the Author:

Mr. Gauri Sankar

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