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Role of a Specialist Officer in Banking

Certain roles need specialized knowledge which a regular employee may not be able to comprehend. Hence banks recruit people in specialized roles and train in them in their respective fields. Over a period, these specialist officers are expected to master the field in which they are working and help the bank in the advisory role. This profile is completely different from Bank PO/clerk wherein the former looks after specialised roles like HR and IT administration, Credit management, Marketing and others while the later looks after the day to day administration, client management, achievement of sales targets, deciding on the strategy of the branch etc. In this article, we try to understand the importance of specialist officer in banking in a nutshell.

Role description of each profile is discussed as under:

Marketing Officer
Marketing officer responsibilities include taking care of all the marketing and promotional activities in a given state/region or nationwide. Marketing team is responsible to conceptualize and design Marketing plan, taking the banks message to masses, promotion activities and preparing the advertisement strategy, . Sometimes it works along with advertisement agencies to draft various forms of communication. It is completely different from sales profile wherein the targets are set and achievement is measured against the target as a benchmark for performance. A good example of Marketing team’s efforts are captured below:

Law Officer
Banking involves dealing with lot of documentation and being well versed with legal matters. Banks recruit people with law degrees for these kind of roles. Their main activities including checking the legal requirement of banks at various stages right from handling litigation to making sure banks are well protected against high level corporate loans. They are responsible for designing the legal documentation which banks enter with its customers. In case of any litigations, banks are represented by practising lawyers ably guided by law officers of the bank.

HR and IT
HR personnel are mainly responsible for recruitment and compensatory related activities, planning and conducting of training activities, managing industrial relations and performance management. Promotion policy is also decided by HR team in consultation with senior management. IT officer role includes providing end-to-end support for Bank’s core banking system, co-ordinating with core banking software provider, taking care of security systems and management of various sub-systems like ATM, Kisok, Mobile Banking and internet Banking, Networking etc. They main job include resolving all technical related issues. Typically, IT officers are placed in metros or state/zone headquarters.

Agriculture Field Officer
Banks have to lend approx 40% of loans to Agriculture and other priority sectors. Lending includes providing loans to direct agriculture and indirect agriculture sectors. In direct agriculture, banks provide loans to farmers for crops, for cattle feed, poultry and dairy farming etc . As these activities involve lot of understanding of the seasonal and climate related impact on productivity issues and it needs special knowledge. There is a catch here where if banks do not meet the lending targets under agriculture sector, they have to keep their money with NABARD at 5.5% p.a. interest which is a loss making proposition for banks. So banks rely on agriculture field officers to lend it to needy sectors.

Credit Officer
One of the most challenging roles in banks include credit management wherein all the loan/lending decisions are taken by credit team. It is headed by an official in the grade of Executive Director and starts with credit officer. The roles of credit officer include performing due diligence, credit appraisal, industry and financial analysis, client handling, getting the loan sanctioned, executing the documents and disbursing the loans. Post sanction monitoring is done by credit team. 

Chartered Accountants (CA)
Role of CAs include conducting internal audits and promoting improvements in audit and data caputiring mechansm, co-ordinating with external auditors, preparation of financial statements and MIS, advising on tax related matters etc. They act as single point contact for any audit related information.

In coming articles, we will explore in depth the role of each specialist officer.