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Career in Banking Sector

Regulation of banking system in India started with Banking Regulation Act, 1949. Banks in India used to be in private hands. In 1969, 14 big private banks were nationalized bringing them under the ownership of government. After 11years, in 1980, six more banks were nationalized. Of these 20 banks, one New Bank of India got merged in Punjab National Bank. Now in all there are 27 public sector banks in the country consisting of 19 nationalized banks and 8 banks from State Bank group (State Bank of India and its associates).  

In the last two decades Public Sector Banks in India have witnessed a transition from traditional banking to modern technology driven banking. Exposure to competition has made these banks re-engineer and re-structure their processes, systems and product line. After economic liberalization these banks have been given enough freedom to do so. However, for various matters these are required to follow guidelines issued by Ministry of Finance, Reserve Bank of India and Indian Banks Association. 

Post nationalization, the Banks were asked to open more branches in rural areas. Large number of people was recruited to man these newly opened branches. Expanded network gave a new identity to these banks and millions of new customers came to the fold of Banking. The business of Banking moved from class banking to mass banking.  

Banking has emerged as one of the most challenging sectors in the Country. Job openings are available at various levels from Bank Clerks to Bank Probationary Officers (PO). There is a great job security and the salary is very good, besides the pre requisites of loans for employees. It is a lucrative career ; till recently careers existed only in nationalized banks, but with liberalisation, a host of private banks have been set up. As a result, demand for trained professionals has increased substantially. 

Professionals from streams like law, engineering, agriculture also have opening in the management cadre of various banks. Lawyers in banks advice of Laws and regulations affecting the operations of institution. Engineers work with industries and businesses on behalf of the bank. 

Indian Banking Sector: 

  • Countless Opportunities - There are many jobs available in the Indian Banking Sector for candidates – entry-level jobs, middle level jobs & top management jobs.  Depending on the skills and experience level one can apply for a relevant job. Nowadays all banks have a preliminary test wherein the candidates are checked on some basic parameters like- numerical ability, grasp on English, general awareness & of course, knowledge about main subject, etc. With the Indian Banking Sector witnessing a high growth rate, job seekers are clamoring to get placed in the Indian Banking Sector. 
  • Sustained Growth Of The Indian Banking Sector - With the Indian Banking Sector showing more or less a sustained growth rate over the years, the competition among job seekers is really cut-throat. 
  • Good Incentives And Great Salaries - Though salary of course depends on the post one is holding, nowadays the middle level (& above) banking professionals are getting handsome salaries. The high incentives are yet another perk of working in the Indian Banking Sector. In case one is interested in a stable job, working in a nationalized bank would be a good idea.

With the introduction of technology, the Indian Banking Sector has further achieved more momentum & widened its scope in the recent years. 

India has following 3 types of banks:

  • Public Sector banks
  • Private Sector Banks
  • Multinational Banks 

Nationalization of commercial banks in India brings entire banking system with the domain of public sector bank. State Bank of India (SBI) is top commercial bank of India. The entry of private sector banks like ICICI, IDBI etc has provided tough competition to both public sector as well as multinational foreign banks. They are tech savvy and offer better pay packages than public sector banks. Promotions are not time based but performance based. 

Multinational / Foreign banks are preferred choices among young aspirants because of higher packages and better facilities. Though, in addition to personal performance job security in these banks depends on other external factors like market economy, performance of bank worldwide, change in management etc. 

Public sector banks mainly appoint graduate students on the basis of performance in All India Recruitment Examination. On senior posts professionals like engineers, MBAs, CAs, Doctors, Lawyers etc are appointed on the basis of All India Recruitment Exam. 

Private Sector Banks and Foreign / Multinational Banks recruits MBAs, CAs etc through campus recruitments. But in senior positions they prefer experienced bankers and officers from public sector banks becomes obvious choice. Public sector banks recruits Probationary Officers on the basis of All India Recruitment Exam. 

Public Sector Banks in India Conduct Examinations to fill Vacancies at 2 Levels.

  • Bank Probationary Officer:
  • Bank Clerk 

Bank Probationary officer:  A Probationary Officer (PO) in the bank is the starting level appointment for bank officers. The POs have a one or two years probation period during which they are given exposure to various important functions of the bank such as Loans & Advances, Foreign exchange, Credit Rating, Treasury, Risk Management, IT, Marketing etc. 

Bank Clerk: A bank clerk, is a financial service professional who serves as the primary point of contact for most bank customers, administering basic banking transactions, documentation and administrative functions. 

There are two major entrance exams for banking jobs. These exams are Bank Clerk and Bank PO. Both these exams are conducted by the Institute of Banking Personnel Services (IBPS). 

A Common Written Examination (CWE) will be conducted by the institute of Banking Personnel Selection (IBPS) for selection of candidates to fill the vacancies in the 19 Public Sector Banks. It is a sole opportunity for candidate’s career in 19 Public Sector Banks through a Single Common Written Examination. The Common Written Examination (CWE) will be conducted 4 times in a year (twice each for clerical and PO) by Institute of Banking Personnel Selection (IBPS). This Common Examination for recruitment has been accepted by each of the 19 participating Public Sector Banks. Here is the list of the banks. 

  • Allahabad Bank
  • Andhra Bank
  • Bank of Baroda
  • Bank of Maharashtra
  • Bank of India
  • Central Bank of India
  • Canara Bank
  • Dena Bank
  • Corporation Bank
  • Indian Overseas Bank
  • Indian Bank
  • Punjab National Bank
  • Oriental Bank of Commerce
  • Syndicate Bank
  • Punjab & Sind Bank
  • United Bank of India
  • Union Bank of India
  • Vijaya Bank
  • UCO Bank 

Once you have completed either one of the entrance exam, you can apply for the job in any of these banks depending on the vacancies. Now I will recommend that you appear for the IBPS Bank PO entrance exam and not the IBPS Bank Clerk exam. Therefore I will write down the eligibility criteria for the IBPS Bank PO entrance exam. 


  1. The candidate applying should be Indian citizen.
  2. A bachelor degree is mandatory to apply.
  3. There are no percentage criteria for Bank PO exam.
  4.  You should be older than 20 years and less than 30 years to apply.
  5. The relaxation for OBC is 3 years.
  6. The relaxation for SC/ST is 5 years.
  7. The relaxation for PWD is 10 years. 

To apply for this exam:

  • You should have completed any degree from a recognized university
  • Your age should not be more than 30 years , if you belong to General category
  • Your age should not be more than 33 years , if you belong to OBC category
  • Your age should not be more than 25 years , if you belong to SC or ST category
  • Your age must not be below 21 years 

The exam syllabus is:

  • Reasoning topic questions
  • Aptitude topic questions
  • General knowledge questions
  • General  English questions
  • Arithmetic topic questions

Career Prospects
Finally selected candidates can look forward to a fruitful career in the bank, they join. All public sector banks provide training to new employees for equipping them to take up their assignments. Induction training which happens immediately or soon after joining is the first training programme they attend. Subsequently they are offered training in various banking disciplines. 

Public sector banks are few organisations which offer promotion from one cadre to another. Thus those who join as clerks may be promoted as officers, as per banks norms. For bright candidates, in some banks, this promotion from a clerk to officer is possible in a period as short as one year. 

Banking career offers attractive salary package and attracts students by offering ample of lucrative job opportunities. The sector is flourishing with time and hence requires more professionals such as MBAs, financial analysts and chartered accountants. Investing your time in banking industry pays well in future.

The demand for banking and financial services is increasing with the growth in Indian economy. The rising demand for financial services such as investment, mortgages and loan, etc. has resulted in plethora of job opportunities in India and abroad. A large number of such opportunities in the industry include firstly, introduction of more number of new banks in the industry, and secondly competition from international banks is intensifying with growth opportunities in India for foreign banks. This has resulted in job opportunities for fresher and experienced professionals in foreign and Indian banks.

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