How to become a bank manager?

A career in the banking industry is something most youth of today aspire for. When the industry can offer you promising jobs, premium facilities and lots of money, why not go for it? One of the most sought out positions in the banking industry today is that of a bank manager. Unlike most other top-level banking industry careers, bank managers have the luxury of enjoying a career with a stable income, limited risk and fixed work schedules. When all of this is in one place, getting there is not going to be easy. You will find many others heading the same way. In this article, I’m going to tell you how you can become a bank manager.

Who is a bank manager?

A bank manager is usually the administrative head of a branch of the bank and is in charge of ensuring the smooth functioning of day to day operations that happen in that particular branch. He or she coordinates and supports the staff, liaisons with the customers, markets the banking products, keeps check of the system in place and ensures everything functions according to the statutory guidelines. 

After knowing all these, you can’t expect to get to that position through a one-step process. Most banks in the country usually don’t appoint someone like a bank manager directly. You will have to work at a lower level for a few years, gain enough experience and then proceed to the position of a bank manager through promotions. 

So, how to become a bank manager?

There are two ways to start. Either go for clerical positions in state or private banks or take up roles of probationary officers or management trainees. Now, let’s look at each of these two routes

How to become a bank probationary officer?

A probationary officer is actually a management trainee. After spending a few years in this job role, he or she will be promoted to the role of branch manager. Unlike the manager, it is a direct entry post. Most public sector banks recruit probationary officers through PO exams. 

IBPS PO is the most popular PO exam. It is conducted by an autonomous body called the Institute of Bank Personnel Selection (IBPS). RBI, NABARD, Public banks like Allahabad Bank, Canara Bank, Andhra Bank, Dena Bank, Syndicate Bank, Banks of Baroda, India, Maharashtra; UCO Bank, Union Bank of India, Oriental Bank of Commerce, Punjab National Bank, United Bank of India, IDBI, Indian Overseas Bank, Punjab, Central Bank of India, Corporation Bank and Sind Bank are the banks that consider IBPS PO scores. Other common public sector bank PO exams are SBI PO and IBPS RRB PO. Even reputed private banks conduct separate PO exams to recruit qualified professionals for the position of probationary officer. Now, let’s look at the Bank PO exam in detail.

Bank PO exams

Bank PO exams happen throughout the year. The date will be decided by the body in charge of conducting the exams. Most banks publish exam notification online and aspirants can start applying on the basis of that. The basic qualification to apply for Bank PO exam is to have an undergraduate degree from a recognised university. Along with this, basic computer knowledge will also be required. But in the case of private banks, the eligibility criteria may be different. An MBA degree with a specialisation in finance is will be an added advantage here.

Bank PO exam pattern

PO exams for recruitment to public sector banks usually involves three stages. The prelims stage, the mains stage and the interview stage. The scores of preliminary exam won’t be considered for the selection, but you need to beat the cut off to be allowed to attempt the mains. And only if you do well in the mains, you will be called for the interview.

For SBI PO exams, there will be an additional group discussion stage. The question paper pattern can be different for different PO exams. For IBPS PO and SBI PO exams, the preliminary exam paper will have three parts. This will test a candidate’s English language ability, quantitative aptitude and reasoning ability. The main examination will have  5 parts. They are the English language, Quantitative aptitude, reasoning ability, general awareness and a descriptive paper. The pattern is slightly different for IBPS RRB PO exam. One part of IBPS RRB PO will test the candidate’s computer knowledge.

After clearing all the rounds, one will receive posting as a probationary officer. You will have lots of responsibilities on your head with this title added to your name. A bank probationary officer is usually in charge of managing staff under clerical cadre. He or she is also expected to act as public relations officers for the banks and is thereby assigned to address customer related issues. After a few years in that post, you will get promoted to the chair of the assistant managers and then branch managers. In some banks, there will be exams you need to clear at the end of the probationary period to get promoted.

IBPS Clerk exam

Now let’s look at the next route. Going for a clerical cadre job and moving up the larder from there. This is going to be a long route. Most public sector banks recruit clerical staff through competitive exams. The most common of those exams is the IBPS clerk exam. The minimum eligibility to appear for this exam is to have an undergraduate degree from a recognised university. Apart from this, he or she is also expected to have to good computer knowledge and English language proficiency. 

Coming to the exam itself, there is a preliminary examination and the main examination. The prelims is for one hour. It has 100 questions divided into three sections. It tests the candidate’s English language ability, numerical ability and reasoning ability. The mains exam is for a duration of 160 minutes. It has 4 sections with a total of 190 questions. The exam tests a candidate’s general/ financial awareness, general English, reasoning and computer aptitude, and quantitative aptitude. 

Clearing the exam with a good rank will get you a posting under clerical cadre in a public sector bank. From here you will have to take the long route of internal exams and promotions to get to the position of a branch manager. Yeah, that seems a bit stressful. But there are internal exams that will help you climb more than one step at a time. 

These are the two common ways of getting to the position of bank managers. But this applies to the public sector banks. Anything can happen in private banks. It is common for private banks to provide direct postings to highly qualified individuals. But that’s going to be tougher than this. 

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So, that’s it, folks. I believe we were able to give you a brief introduction to the ways of becoming a bank manager in most state-run and private banks in Ind India. The choice is up to you. If you have any further queries, feel free to contact us using our free online chat service. The link to our interactive platform is given below.

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