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How is the life of a clerk in Public Sector Banks?

Dec 28, 2015 12:35 IST

Getting through to Public Sector banks and making a successful career in banking sector has become dreams of many aspiring banking candidate’s eyes. They are vying for the overall growth and future prospects associated with this job. The safely and security of the workplace and provision of growth in the future has made this a lucrative place to be for many aspiring young job seekers around the country. Once the candidates get selected in clerical or officer positions in the banks, they are open to take up opportunities which are available for them in due course of time in the field.

Pay Perks and growth scenario

Bank clerks, till the latest bipartite agreement had been paid quite low. But the scenario has changed to some extent after the hike in their salaries, which is now approx. at par with the private banks around the country. The bank clerks also have the opportunity to climb levels in their own bank and sit for promotional examination. Upon completion of 2 to 3 years of service in the banks after their recruitment, candidates can rise up to officer grade and draw a lucrative salary from the bank along with other benefits and allowances.. Pension and other provident fund schemes remains active for bank clerks once they join any bank. Medical assurance and insurance is also provided by the banks for the clerks and their dependents in the family. Along with better growth opportunities it also allows the clerks to rise to the level of branch manager once they are ripe with experience.

In private banks, only 21 per cent of the nearly 300,000 employees fall in the category of clerks. Foreign banks, with only 6 per cent clerks among their ranks, have always preferred to hire more officers. This skew means that the entire banking system in India is now biased towards officers. Of the 1.15 million employed by the scheduled commercial banks in 2013-14, more than 600,000 were officers. However, the country's largest bank, SBI, still has more clerks than officers on its rolls. Nearly half of the bank's approximately 200,000 employees are categorised as clerks, according to the latest data released by the RBI.

Hiring Trends

  • 52 per cent officers in the banking system now as opposed to just 38 per cent ten years ago
  • Technology has rendered clerical functions redundant
  • Officer-only model driven by the desire to have better industrial relation
  • Clerks and only junior level officers allowed to go on strike
  • The new approach has pushed up the average employee cost of PSBs

Clerical functions in banks:  The change in the employee profile has been necessitated by computerisation of the banking system, which has rendered clerical functions almost redundant. Earlier, clerks would make an entry and officers would check and authorise transactions. It was known as the maker-checker model. Now that most of the banking system is computerised, there is no need to check transactions manually.

Bankers working with nationalised banks are of the view that the twin factors of achieving operational efficiency and better labour relations may have led banks to hire more officers than clerks. Officers are required to work 24/7. There is no provision for additional work incentive for them. However, in the case of clerks, you are required to pay overtime and conveyance allowances if you keep them at work even for 10 extra minutes.

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