The banking industry is heavily regulated at the federal and state level by a number of government agencies. To ensure banks and other financial services providers adhere to all the relevant rules, these agencies rely on bank examiners. If you are interested in working for the government, and you have an interest in banking, then this is a job you could enjoy.
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1. What Do Bank Examiners Do?
Their duties include:
- Assessing the operations of a bank to detect malpractices or code violations –This involves examining loaning guidelines, physical and electronic records, consumer protection programs and internal control procedures
- Analyzing bank acquisition and mergers to ensuring everything was done in compliance to relevant regulations
- Interviewing the employees of a certain bank to gather information
- Evaluating the general financial health of a bank
- Drafting detailed reports on their findings and recommending necessary actions -Depending on the nature of a violation, the examiners may institute a corrective action or recommend legal action against the violator
- Working with industry policy makers to develop effective banking policies
- Staying abreast of changes in banking laws and regulations
It is essential to highlight the important role these examiners play in the banking industry. Without them, banks would probably charge high interest rates on credit, provide unreliable services to customers and worse, they would get it away with it.
2. Work Environment
Bank examiners work from 9am to 5pm, Monday through Friday. When they are not in their offices analyzing their findings and compiling reports, you can find them in various banks assessing operations or gathering information.
According to Payscale, the average annual salary of a bank examiner in the US is $74,305.
4. Entry Requirements
The road to becoming a bank examiner begins in undergraduate school, where you should pursue a bachelor’s degree in banking and finance. The program will enhance your understanding of banking laws and regulations, as well as the principles of banking and finance, retail and corporate banking, monetary policies and international finance.
Some of the universities offering this program include:
- Pennsylvania College of Technology, Pennsylvania
- Strayer University, Virginia
- Sam Houston State University, Texas
After graduating, you should begin by finding a job at a banking institution. This will enable you to gain banking experience and more importantly, understand the application of various banking laws. To enhance your chances of getting hired as bank examiner, pursue the CPA qualification or any other relevant professional credential.
5. Important Qualities
To be an effective bank examiner, you need:
- Strong investigative skills
- An appetite for little details
- An aptitude for numbers
- Superior math skills
- Strategic thinking skills
- An interest in public service
- Strong analytical skills
- Strong problem-solving skills
- The ability to adhere to a strict code of profession conduct
- Irrefutable integrity and honesty
- Report writing skills
- Communication skills
- Time management skills
6. Career Progression
Once you are hired as a bank examiner, you will typically undergo an extensive training program designed to equip you with the knowledge you need to stay abreast of expected changes in the industry. Visit federalreserve.gov for more information on examiner training and commissioning.
Since you will begin as an entry-level bank examiner, it is important to undertake the following activities to enhance your career progression chances:
7. Job Opportunities
The employers of bank examiner include:
- The Federal Reserve System (a nationwide network of 12 federal banks)
- Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC)
- Financial Industry Regulation Authority (FINRA)
- State regulation agencies.
Some large banks also hire bank examiners to work as in-house auditors.
With vast experience as a bank examiner, you can rise through the ranks and become a chief bank examiner.
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Although the financial crisis of 2008 slowed down the banking industry, business is picking up and banks are rolling out new services of products by the day. This, coupled with the fact that the government wouldn’t want banks to fall back into another financial crisis, will drive the demand bank examiners.
So if you want to help the government to keep the banking industry in check, then you should become a banking examiner.