How does Bank senior management know and understand what examiners are looking for, and how do they meet the regulator’s needs while doing what is best for the Bank?
Where to Focus?
Credit quality/asset quality is still at the top of the list, followed by adequacy of the Allowance for Loan Losses and capital; interest rate risk is not far behind with Bank Secrecy Act, IT, and planning trailing very close. Capital stress testing, FASB and FRB regulations compliance and succession plans must also be included.
What to do?
1. Get regulators on your team.
2. Understand their perspective and process.
3. Get managers and staff to think and work like an examiner.
4. Prepare thoroughly before the exam.
5. Anticipate questions and address the obvious.
6. Prepare well. Good preparation makes your bank appear more competent in the examiners’ eyes.
7. Meet with your management team to develop an exam strategy.
8. Conduct Kick-off Meetings with Examiners. Have your senior members prepare a brief presentation for the examiners.
9. Establish a cordial rapport.
10. Provide each examiner a staff contact list.
11. Don’t fight surprise or odd issues or requests.
12. Look for opportunities to show a positive side.
13. Planning and Forecasting is big in the examiner’s world. Maintain a 3- 5 year plan that’s in line with your documented strategy.
Regulators are here to stay, and treating them as partners rather than enemies will go a long way.
Philip Gonzalez, Director, has over 40 years of experience in the financial services industry, holding a wide variety of executive and senior management experience at community banks and financial institutions.