By Colin Barrett, President/CEO, Tennessee Bankers Association
With Congress narrowly divided, our elected officials in Washington are on track to pass the least amount of legislation in history. Unfortunately, the banking regulators in D.C. are more than making up the difference by crafting new regulations that cover a myriad of areas, many of which impede bankers’ ability to serve customers. At the TBA, we are addressing this through lobbying the regulatory agencies and Congress and providing resources for TBA members to help them handle the ever-increasing number of regulations.
Lobbying and education to address regulations is nothing new for the Association. In fact, “addressing government overreach” was one of the reasons for the Association’s founding in 1890. Dozens of compliance education programs are held annually, and the TBA Compliance Forum and Compliance Conference continue to be two of our strongest programs. But there is an additional resource available to Tennessee banks as well—Compliance Alliance (C/A).
In 2014, TBA partnered with 23 other state bankers associations to create C/A, a subscription-based, comprehensive compliance service. Subscribers have access to compliance officers via phone, email or website chat. Compliance calendars, unlimited document reviews, bank training programs, forms, flowcharts, checklists, and more are also part of the bank subscription license. Many Tennessee bankers who work with C/A view them as one of their most valuable partners.
Since the beginning of TBA’s relationship with C/A, we have expanded our partnership to offer access to compliance audit services through Review Alliance (R/A) and a new Virtual Compliance Officer (VCO) program, all of which fall under the umbrella of Bankers Alliance.
R/A, founded in 2020, offers banks competitively priced compliance audit services. Audits are conducted by highly trained and certified staff and provide a risk-based approach to compliance testing. Transactions are reviewed efficiently and effectively, focusing on streamlining the review process by using technology whenever feasible. All audit services include exit meetings with bank personnel, and bank management responses are incorporated into every final product.
With compliance being the fastest growing area within the banking industry, the VCO program is a great alternative for banks that struggle to find and retain compliance staff. A highly trained compliance specialist serves as the VCO for several financial institutions across the country. While your bank still maintains a compliance officer, the VCO serves as a bank’s compliance resource while eliminating the need for additional full-time employees. Benefits of using a VCO include retaining highly-trained staff that are continuously educated on the ever-evolving world of compliance, monthly monitoring, communication to access daily risk, compliance committee steering, and policy and procedure guidance. Banks that have engaged a VCO report successful interactions and results with their regulators.
As you search for the best strategies to meet your compliance needs, I encourage you to turn to TBA education and Compliance Alliance to offer your compliance team the tools and training they need to be successful.