Financial examiners ensure compliance with laws governing financial institutions and transactions.
What they do
Financial examiners review balance sheets, evaluate the risk level of loans, and assess bank management.
Financial examiners typically do the following:
- Monitor the financial condition of banks and other financial institutions
- Review balance sheets, operating income and expense accounts, and loan documentation to confirm institution assets and liabilities
- Prepare reports that detail an institution’s safety and soundness
- Examine the minutes of meetings of managers and directors
- Train other examiners in the financial examination process
- Review and analyze new regulations and policies to determine their impact on the organization
- Establish guidelines for procedures and policies that comply with new and revised regulations
Financial examiners typically work in one of two main areas: risk assessment or consumer compliance.
Those working in risk assessment evaluate the health of financial institutions. Their role is to ensure that banks and other financial institutions offer safe loans and that they have enough cash on hand to manage unexpected losses. These procedures help ensure that the financial system as a whole remains stable. These examiners also evaluate the performance of bank managers.
Financial examiners working in consumer compliance monitor lending activity to ensure that borrowers are treated fairly. They ensure that banks extend loans that borrowers are likely to be able to pay back. They help borrowers avoid “predatory loans”—loans that may generate profit for banks through high interest payments but may be costly to borrowers and damage their credit scores. Examiners also ensure that banks do not discriminate against borrowers based on race, ethnicity, or other characteristics.
Financial examiners typically work in offices. They frequently have to travel to inspect a bank onsite.
How to become a Financial Examiner
Financial examiners typically need a bachelor’s degree that includes some coursework in accounting. Entry-level examiners are trained on the job by senior examiners.
Financial examiners typically need a bachelor’s degree. Although a specific major is usually not required, examiners generally need some coursework in accounting, finance, economics, or a related field. Examiners working for the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) typically must have at least 6 semester hours in accounting.
Once hired, financial examiners receive on-the-job training. Entry-level workers begin under the supervision of senior examiners, as they learn their job duties. The length of this training varies, but typically lasts over 1 year.
The median annual wage for financial examiners was $81,090 in May 2019. The median wage is the wage at which half the workers in an occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $43,500, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $158,200.
Employment of financial examiners is projected to grow 7 percent from 2019 to 2029, faster than the average for all occupations. Employment growth for financial examiners will vary by industry group. Financial examiners will be in demand as financial institutions seek help with federal regulatory compliance.
Demand for these workers has risen in the financial industry because of the need for financial institutions to effectively comply with federal regulation. More financial institutions are hiring financial examiners to help navigate the regulatory environment and reduce the cost of compliance. Financial examiners’ employment is projected to grow 8 percent from 2019 to 2029 in the finance and insurance industry.
At the federal level, the creation of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has increased employment of financial examiners in recent years. However, changes to this agency and overall budget constraints in the federal government may limit employment growth. Employment of financial examiners in the federal government is projected to decline 4 percent from 2019 to 2029.
Similar Job Titles
Bank Examiner, Bank Secrecy Act Anti-Money Laundering Officer (BSA/AML Officer), Community Reinvestment Act Officer (CRA Officer), Compliance Analyst, Compliance Officer, Compliance Specialist, Credit Union Examiner, Credit Union Field Examiner, Examining Officer, Internal Auditor
Financial Managers, Branch or Department; Compensation and Benefits Managers; Financial Analysts; Risk Management Specialist; Fraud Examiner, Investigators and Analysts
The trade associations listed below represent organizations made up of people (members) who work and promote advancement in the field. Members are very interested in telling others about their work and about careers in those areas. As well, trade associations provide opportunities for organizational networking and learning more about the field’s trends and directions.
- American Bankers Association
- American Institute of CPAs
- Association of Certified Fraud Examiners
- Association of Government Accountants
- Conference of State Bank Supervisors
- Global Association of Risk Professionals
- Independent Community Bankers Association
- Society of Financial Examiners
Magazines and Publications
Financial examiners work hard to prevent financial crises from occurring. They make sure that banks and other financial institutions follow laws and regulations that keep institutions operating securely and protect consumers’ interests. Financial examiners review balance sheets, evaluate the risk level of loans, and assess bank management. Typically, they specialize in either risk assessment or consumer compliance. Those working in risk assessment evaluate financial institutions’ health. Examiners evaluate bank managers’ performance… ensuring that banks and other financial institutions offer safe loans and that they have enough cash on hand to manage unexpected losses. This helps ensure the financial system remains stable. Financial examiners working in consumer compliance ensure that borrowers are treated fairly. They help borrowers avoid “predatory loans” that generate profit for banks through high interest payments and are risky for borrowers. Examiners also ensure that banks do not discriminate against borrowers. Most financial examiners work full time, in offices, and frequently travel to inspect banks. Typically, financial examiners need a bachelor’s degree with some coursework in accounting, finance, economics, or a related field. Examiners who work for the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation typically need at least six semester hours in accounting. Once hired, financial examiners typically receive at least one year of on-the-job training… entry-level workers learn under the supervision of senior examiners.
Content retrieved from: US Bureau of Labor Statistics-OOH www.bls.gov/ooh,
CareerOneStop www.careeronestop.org, O*Net Online www.onetonline.org