Top Heavy: Indian banks have more officers than clerks; how the situation changed in just 15 years

PSU banks still have more clerks and subordinate staff than officers whereas the role of clerks has completely diminished in private banks.

Banking job, PSU bank, private banks, recruitment in banks
Indian banks have become top heavy.

Banking Jobs: Indian banks have more officers than clerks and subordinates as officers account for nearly two-third of the total workforce and clerks and subordinates account for just one third. It is completely opposite of the situation 15 years ago when there were at least two subordinates, clerk or peons, for every bank officer. According to the latest official data about the manpower in the scheduled commercial banks, nearly 14 lakh people were employed in the banking sector in the country in March 2018 and 8.6 lakh or nearly two-third of them were officers. In 2003, more than 9 lakh people were employed in scheduled commercial banks and officers accounted for less than one-third of the total strength at 2.87 lakh, clerks (4.19 lakh) and subordinate staff (1.95 lakh).

According to the basic statistical returns of the scheduled commercial banks, Indian banks have become extremely top-heavy organisations. It shows that modern banking has evolved as a highly specialised job requiring more people in executive capacity.

According to the official data, there were 13.80 lakh bank employees and officers at the end of March 2018. Of the total manpower in the banking sector, 8.59 lakh were bank officers while the number of clerks was 3.6 lakh and banks also had 1.61 lakh subordinates, mostly peons etc.

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Diminishing role of clerks in private banks

This top heavy model was more pronounced in case of private and foreign banks. While the officer-clerk ratio in foreign banks was 4-1, it means for every clerk working with a foreign bank, there were at least four officers.

This ratio was even more skewed in case of private sector banks as there was only one clerk for 16 officers. It virtually means that almost every person employed in a private bank was employed as an officer and there were very few clerks. Of the total 4.2 lakh employees working in private banks, nearly 95% were bank officers and just 5.6% were clerks.

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Officer-clerk ratio in public sector banks

Despite the sea change in the banking industry, the total number of bank officers with public sector banks is still less than the total number of clerks and subordinates. Public sector banks had 8 lakh employees in March 2018, officers (3.76 lakh), clerks (2.98 lakh) and subordinates (1.33 lakh).

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