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What is Bank PO:

The job of a Bank Probationary Officer (PO) is considered as a lucrative career option and a white collar job. The job offers a high career growth and prospects for a bright future in banking. Many candidates want to know about the responsibilities of a bank PO & the various tasks they will have to perform, once they are recruited in banks.

Know fact for PO?

Every year 10-20 lakhs aspirants appear for each PO (SBI/IBPS) exam. The vacancies declared range between 2000 -5000 seats. The total applicants for all types of banks exams put together reach 80 lakhs for around 35k posts. So the competition is quite high.

Career Growth for a PO:

Bank probationary officer post is the entry level position. Bank PO undergoes a 2 years probation period or training and then gets the post of Assistant Manager on joining a branch. Normal prospect of this job is general banking and bank administration; however, bank POs are expected to possess excellent communication skills and the ability to resolve conflicts in a cool and calm manner.

Even If you are not in IIM/IIT/IAS, you can still work your way to the top position- for example

  • Arun Tiwari: BSc in Chemistry. Joined Bank of Baroda as PO in 1979. Right now CMD of Union bank of India.
  • KR Kamath: Did B.Com from Mysore, joined Corporation Bank as officer trainee 1977. He was appointed as the CMD of Punjab National Bank.
  • Arundhati Bhattacharya: Had Done BA in literature, joined SBI as PO back in 1977. She was the Chairman of SBI from 2014 to 2017.
  • K. Dubey: MA in English, LLB, joined Punjab National Bank in ’77 as a management trainee (MT). Today he is CMD of Canara Bank.

JOB Profile:

While on job, here are some of the important responsibilities of a probationary officer in banks.

  • Service to Customers: All banks rely on customers for their business. So servicing the customer is the foremost necessity for an officer by giving them the information they ask for.
  • In many branches, the junior officer (PO) will be asked to look into the customers coming for opening new accounts, ATM cards, deposits, receipts, loans, cheque books etc.
  • Bring New Business: Since a PO deals with customers directly, it is naturally expected of him to promote various products of the bank & its partners to them. It may include fixed deposits, insurance policies, mutual funds, credit cards etc.,
  • He may be required to travel to their place if required as public sector banks don’t employ marketing/ sales executives separately.
  • Although there won’t be any pressure on him to sell these stuffs initially, he will have targets & deadlines as months pass.
  • Handle Cash: Cash disbursal & collection from cashiers are normally done through the counters manned by clerks.
  • In case of heavy crowding, a parallel counter will be opened & he may be required to perform the clerical activities as well. Such a situation may arise if the cashier’s post is vacant or he/ she has gone on leave.
  • For this purpose, POs will also be trained on the transaction software too. Many officers have also reported of loading the ATM machines with cash every morning. So he would also need to keep track of the ATM activity, if the branch has one attached to it.
  • Payment Clearances: Although a clerk performs most cash transactions, some payments by way of cheque, DD, NEFT/ RTGS beyond a certain amount need to be authorized & cleared only by a person of officer cadre.
  • At times, the clerical staff may find some discrepancies related to a customer’s account which would also be referred to a PO for further scrutiny.
  • Report Verification: With the introduction of core banking solutions, all the work done in a day should be properly closed to avoid any mismatch. While every employee has some day-end work, PO`s would be assigned to generate reports which may include the deposits, withdrawals, ledger balances etc.,
  • He would login to the system using his details, take prints of statement, manually verify each transaction & record the changes found. If he overlooks any one entry, it will create a problem the next day with mails from regional or zonal officers.
  • Official Communication: Just like in any MNC or IT company, all employees receive numerous emails which could be related to new rules or schemes or products. A probationary officer may be asked to keep a track of these latest developments to improve their product knowledge as they will be interacting with customers more.
  • The manager could also ask a PO to send official replies or letters to other departments for want of information or provide them with required info. As one can see from the above functions, there is no specific job description for a probationary officer.
  • So PO`s are required to be well versed in all the branch activities because on promotion, they will be elevated to the cadre of ‘Branch Manager’.

What is the Salary of Bank PO?

Having read about the work of probationary officer, one might be curious to know the salary structure of a Bank PO.

While the basic pay-scale for PO (scale I) ranges is 23700 the actual salary could be approx. Rs. 37000-38000 / month (including all allowances) depending on location of Posting. It goes on increasing depending on promotion.

JOB Satisfaction:

As a banker, you will find a true job satisfaction as you have to help needy people to get loans for starting any business, pursuing higher education, loans for buying home, car, bike, etc. you bring happiness to many families. In real terms, you are helping them to stand on their foot.

  1. You’re helping poor women save their money away from their drunkard husband and so on…
  2. Banks help the economic growth in small towns and large villages=> prevent migration to metropolitans and subsequent problems related to slums etc.
  3. Thus, a Banker is also doing an essential public service– just like doctor and policeman.
  4. So, Apart from good salary, there is job satisfaction, the feeling of having done something good for another fellow Indian.
  5. All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing. e.g. subprime crisis in USA because banks were run by idiots. Indian banking sector is immune from such shocks because by and large the officials are diligent in their work.
  6. In a way this is just like politics - if good men stop coming then idiots will get in charge and ruin everything.
  7. Same way, if good folks don’t join public sector banks and since private banks are not interested in serving rural areas, poor people will keep suffering at the hands of evil money lenders resulting in no rural growth, severe problem related with urban migration and abject poverty.


  • Job seekers minimum age limit is 20/21 years and maximum age limit is 30 years for IBPS.SBI PO. Relaxation in age will be given as per the norms set by the organization.
  • The minimum age limit to apply for IBPS/SBI Clerical Exam is 21 years and the maximum age limit is 28 years.

Exam Pattern:

1. IBPS PO/MT Preliminary Exam Pattern:

Total Question
English language 30 30
Numerical Ability 35 35
Reasoning Ability 35 35
Total 100 100

1.IBPS PO/MT Main Exam Pattern

IBPS PO Mains - Objective Test

Name of Tests No. of Questions Maximum Marks Medium of Exam Time allotted for each Test
Reasoning & Computer Aptitude 45 60 English & Hindi 60 minutes
General/Economy/Banking Awareness 40 40 English & Hindi 35 minutes
English Language 35 40 English 40 minutes
Data Analysis & Interpretation 35 60 English & Hindi 45 minutes
Total 155 200 3 hours
English Language (Letter Writing & Essay) 2 25 English 30 minutes

NOTE: There will be a penalty for wrong answers marked in the Objective Tests. For each question for which a wrong answer has been given by the candidate; one fourth or 0.25 of the marks assigned to that question will be deducted as penalty to arrive at a correct score. If a question is left blank, i.e. no answer is marked by the candidate; there will be no penalty for that question.

IBPS PO Mains - Descriptive Test

The descriptive paper will be of 30 minutes duration with 25 marks assigned to the test of English Language. You will be tested on your Letter Writing & Essay Writing Skills. You will be needed to secure passing marks to qualify the Descriptive Test, to be decided by the Bank.

NOTE: The Descriptive Test paper of only those candidates will be evaluated who have scored qualifying marks in the Objective Tests and are placed adequately high as per total marks in Objective Test.

IBPS PO Exam Pattern 2020 - Interview (Phase III)

The total marks allotted for Interview are 100. The minimum qualifying marks in interview will not be less than 40% (35% for SC/ST/OBC/PWD candidates). The weightage (ratio) of Online Main Exam and interview will be 80:20 respectively. The combined final score of candidates shall be arrived at on the basis of scores obtained by the candidates in the Main Examination and Interview.

A candidate should qualify both in the Online Main Exam and interview and be sufficiently high in the merit to be shortlisted for subsequent provisional allotment process, details of which will be made available subsequently on IBPS website.

Other Criteria required

  1. Certified Degree from recognized university.
  2. For Specialist officers, PG/specialization needed.
  3. Computer knowledge (basic) for clerical post.

Basic Requirements:-


  1. English
  2. General Mental Ability
  3. Reasoning (Logical)
  4. General Awareness (current affairs)
  5. General Knowledge

In General Awareness

  • Thrust is given upon banking knowledge and economy section.
  • All PO Exams have become online
  • 180+30 minutes is the maximum time allotted to every exam
  • Depending on the number of sections, marks are accordingly allotted to every section. Total marks in any exam may vary from 100/200 to 250.
  • Most exam have 4 sections GA, GR, GMA, EL. Certain clerical exam may also include computers.
  • Specialist officer’s exam will have a separate section on subject’s specialization.
  • IBPS/SBI/RBI exam will have Preliminary, Mains & interview. Mains exam may include both Objective & Subjective (Letter & Essay writing) questions.
GA General Awareness
GR General Reasoning
GMA General Mental Ability
EL English Language
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