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Bank Probationary Officer Overview

The entry-level position, in the officer category, in Public Sector Banks is that of a Probationary Officer. These officers work as probationers for the first two years and gain experience in various type of banking operations e.g. loans, savings and current accounts, forex operations etc. Bank Probationary Officers are selected on the basis of a written test and an interview conducted by Banking Service Recruitment Board.
 
The Probationary Officers usually undergoe a two years probation period during which they perform various banking functions such as loans, foreign exchange, saving and current accounts.  Most of these officers reach senior positions such as Deputy Managers or General Managers after about 10 years of service. During this period services might be terminated at any time, if the probationer's work proves unsatisfactory. In most cases, this is only a formality and confirmation automatically follows the probation period.   
 
Functions of a Probationary Officer:
 
These officers are involved in various operations like keeping a record of investments, loans, mortgages, providing services like payrolls and inventory accounting to the customers. Probationary Officers should exhibit knowledge in the area of global money markets and financial instruments such as deposit certificates, treasury bills, forecasting, source evaluation and cost of domestic and foreign currency funds.
 
Probationary Officers also need to assess various markets on the behalf of the bank to advice corporates or other banks that need foreign currency. The job requires the Probationary Officer to be constantly updated about the policies of the regulatory bodies, monitoring the current prices, making predictions based on analysis of trends etc. Probationary Officers should also be efficient in keeping records of personal accounts, business, mortgages, installment loan etc.  
 
Personality of a Probationary Officer:
A good banker is a person who has a well-organized mind with an eye for detail. It helps in maintenance of records accurately and neatly. The person should have a mathematical aptitude. Employees joining as officers should be able to lead, motivate and manage the bank staff.
 
Good verbal and written communication skills help in effective interaction with the clients as well as the staff. Integrity and honesty play a major role in all dealings related to money, staff and clients. A person responsible for foreign exchange transactions needs to have a sharp, quick and analytical mind.
 
Some of the qualities required for a successful bank career are high intelligence, ability to relate to people at all levels and team spirit. Other desired attributes are practical nature, self-confidence, flexibility and the ability to cope with stress and handle pressure.
 
Working Conditions of a Probationary Officer:
This is generally a 35 hour week with many posts operating to flexi-time. This system offers the opportunity to choose starting and finishing times, which best suit personal needs. "Core time" operates from 10.00 a.m. to 4.00 p.m., with outer limits of 8.00 a.m. to 6.30 p.m.
 
Leaves:
The annual leave entitlement is 20 days for a full calendar year increased to 25 days, after five years' continuous service. In addition, all employees will get eight Bank and Public Holidays each year taken as they occur and two extra statutory days. The leave year operates from 1st April to 31st March. New entrants are entitled to holidays proportionate to their completed calendar months of service.
 
Annual leave cannot be taken in the first six months of service, unless arranged by prior agreement, but holiday entitlements accumulated during this period can be taken later.
 
Sickness
Full pay sickness allowance is payable according to length of service. For new entrants to Local Government in the first year of service the allowance is one month's full pay (plus two month's half pay) after four month's service. Entitlement increases until, after five years' service, it extends to six months full pay and six months half pay.
 
Pensions
New entrants receive a Pension Pack entitled "Better Benefits for all Kinds of People". The pack explains all the essential features of the Local Government Pension Scheme.
 
Besides Maternity Leave and Medical Allowances are also catered to.
 

Sources
Bank Probationary Officer's Exam Guide “Publisher: Ramesh Publishing House
“Career and Opportunities After 10+2 “Publisher: Ramesh Publishing House

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