Banks - the reservoir of wealth, play an important role in our day-to-day life as they are the organisations that take care of the money of individuals and Corporates. These government authorized financial establishments are the best place to get the capital requirements or save money by different means like opening savings, current and fixed deposit accounts. Banks pay interest on the deposited money, provide loans to people for all their needs such as vehicle, home, business, education and offer services like foreign currency exchange, ATM's etc. The word bank was derived from the Italian word ' Banco' which means desk or bench, over which the transactions had happened during the earlier days.
In India, the banking system was introduced in 1786 with the establishment of General bank and the Bank of Hindustan, which are now out of date. In 1806, East India Company established Bank of Calcutta which later become Bank of Bengal, and Bank of Bombay and Bank of Madras in the respective years of 1840 and 1843. These three banks were merged in 1921 to form the Imperial Bank of India and after independence it was nationalized and became the State Bank of India (SBI) which is the oldest bank in India. The oldest Joint Stock bank in India, Allahabad Bank was started in 1865 and in 1894 the Punjab National Bank, the first complete Indian bank was established. There after, a number of banks came up such as the Bank of India, Central Bank of India, Bank of Baroda, Canara Bank, Indian Bank and Bank of Mysore between the years 1906 and 1913. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) was set up in 1935 and as per the Central Banking Authority, the RBI has got the powers for the supervision of banking in India. The government has formed SBI as the major agent of RBI and it handle all the transactions of Union and State Governments of the country. Of the 88 Scheduled Commercial Banks in India, there are 27 Public sector banks, 31 Private banks and 38 Foreign/ Multinational banks and all these banks together have a combined network of over 53,000 branches and 17,000 ATMs.
Banking, the business of handling money has become one of the most challenging sectors in the country. This well-paid, secure job is a coveted career choice of all times. Banking is a profession not only meant for Commerce/ Economics students but is open for all graduates with any academic background. By the liberalization of banking system and mushrooming of private and foreign banks, banking has become a wonderful profession that offer numerous career options. The responsibilities of the banking professionals vary according to the position.
With the boom in the IT field, a new dimension has been added to the face of banking. Earlier people have to wait for hours to make transactions like depositing, withdrawal, collection of drafts etc. But now all the operations in the banks have been computerized to provide more efficient service to the customers. Facilities and services like net banking, phone banking, credit cards, Automated Teller Machines (ATM) services, online information on the internet, home banking etc offers the customers help to make their life easier and simpler. Emergence of these technologies and the entry of financial institutions into short-term lending business provide an ample scope in this field and has created the requirement of more professionals.
Candidates after 10+2 of any stream can take up banking as their career, but graduates specialized in Commerce, Mathematics or Economics; post graduates, MBA holders, Chartered Accountants and Chartered Financial Analysts get more preference in the field. Many of the universities and B-schools like the Indian Institute of Banking and Finance provide specialized courses in Banking and Finance and the eligibility criteria will vary depending on the courses. Diploma courses offer practical insights into the subjects of Banking & Finance and give candidates an exposure to the operational processes of the modern banking environment.
Personal Skill : Banking is a competent field and those who have apt skills can taste the cup of success. Professionalism and dynamism are two major essential quality needed for this career. The other necessary skills include basic knowledge of the industry, good communication skills both written and verbal, interpersonal skills, leadership qualities, capacity to motivate team members, ability to deal with customers, ability to use computers and related technology and an alert nature. One should also possess a mathematical aptitude, a clear logical and analytical mind, diplomacy, sincerity and sound knowledge of the banking system with up-to-date knowledge of recent developments. However to join foreign sector banks one needs specialisation in some specific areas like project analysis, credit appraisal skills, managing huge loan portfolios and foreign exchange.