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Career profile Financial Examiner

Also known as 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 Examiner

Also known as Bank Examiner, Bank Secrecy Act Anti-Money Laundering Officer (BSA/AML Officer), Community Reinvestment Act Officer (CRA Officer)

Interests Profile
  • Enterprising
  • Conventional
  • Investigative
Pay Range
$43,890 - $159,120 (annual)
Required Skills
  • Reading Comprehension
  • Critical Thinking
  • Speaking
Knowledge Areas
  • Economics and Accounting
  • Law and Government
  • Mathematics
Core tasks
  • Direct and participate in formal and informal meetings with bank directors, trustees, senior management, counsels, outside accountants, and consultants to gather information and discuss findings.
  • Recommend actions to ensure compliance with laws and regulations, or to protect solvency of institutions.
  • Prepare reports, exhibits, and other supporting schedules that detail an institution's safety and soundness, compliance with laws and regulations, and recommended solutions to questionable financial conditions.
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What does a Financial Examiner do?

Financial Examiners enforce or ensure compliance with laws and regulations governing financial and securities institutions and financial and real estate transactions.

In addition, Financial Examiners may examine, verify, or authenticate records.

What kind of tasks does a Financial Examiner perform regularly?

Financial Examiners are often responsible for overseeing or executing some or all of the following tasks:

  • Direct and participate in formal and informal meetings with bank directors, trustees, senior management, counsels, outside accountants, and consultants to gather information and discuss findings.
  • Recommend actions to ensure compliance with laws and regulations, or to protect solvency of institutions.
  • Prepare reports, exhibits, and other supporting schedules that detail an institution's safety and soundness, compliance with laws and regulations, and recommended solutions to questionable financial conditions.
  • Resolve problems concerning the overall financial integrity of banking institutions including loan investment portfolios, capital, earnings, and specific or large troubled accounts.
  • Investigate activities of institutions to enforce laws and regulations and to ensure legality of transactions and operations or financial solvency.
  • Plan, supervise, and review work of assigned subordinates.
  • Review balance sheets, operating income and expense accounts, and loan documentation to confirm institution assets and liabilities.
  • Review audit reports of internal and external auditors to monitor adequacy of scope of reports or to discover specific weaknesses in internal routines.
  • Examine the minutes of meetings of directors, stockholders, and committees to investigate the specific authority extended at various levels of management.
  • Train other examiners in the financial examination process.
  • Establish guidelines for procedures and policies that comply with new and revised regulations and direct their implementation.
  • Review and analyze new, proposed, or revised laws, regulations, policies, and procedures to interpret their meaning and determine their impact.
  • Provide regulatory compliance training to employees.
  • Review applications for mergers, acquisitions, establishment of new institutions, acceptance in Federal Reserve System, or registration of securities sales to determine their public interest value and conformance to regulations, and recommend acceptance or rejection.
  • Evaluate data processing applications for institutions under examination to develop recommendations for coordinating existing systems with examination procedures.
  • Verify and inspect cash reserves, assigned collateral, and bank-owned securities to check internal control procedures.

The above responsibilities are specific to Financial Examiners. More generally, Financial Examiners are involved in several broader types of activities:

Getting Information
Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards
Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
Analyzing Data or Information
Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.
Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
Making Decisions and Solving Problems
Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.

What is a Financial Examiner salary?

The median salary for a Financial Examiner is $81,430, and the average salary is $92,730. Both the median and average roughly describe the middle of the Financial Examiner salary range, but the average is more easily affected by extremely high or low salaries.

Many Financial Examiners earn significantly more or less than the average, due to several factors. About 10% of Financial Examiners earn less than $43,890 per year, 25% earn less than $59,050, 75% earn less than $113,170, and 90% earn less than $159,120.

Between the years of 2020 and 2030, the number of Financial Examiners is expected to change by 17.9%, and there should be roughly 6,900 open positions for Financial Examiners every year.

Median annual salary
$81,430
Typical salary range
$43,890 - $159,120
Projected growth (2020 - 2030)
17.9%

What personality traits are common among Financial Examiners?

Interests

Career interests describe a person's preferences for different types of working environments and activities. When a person's interest match the demands of an occupation, people are usually more engaged and satisfied in that role.

Compared to most occupations, those who work as a Financial Examiner are usually higher in their Enterprising and Conventional interests.

Financial Examiners typically have very strong Enterprising interests. Enterprising occupations frequently involve starting up and carrying out projects. These occupations can involve leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes they require risk taking and often deal with business.

Also, Financial Examiners typically have strong Conventional interests. Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.

Values

People differ in their values, or what is most important to them for building job satisfaction and fulfillment.

Compared to most people, those working as a Financial Examiner tend to value Independence, Relationships, and Achievement.

Most importantly, Financial Examiners strongly value Independence. Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions.

Second, Financial Examiners strongly value Relationships. Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment.

Lastly, Financial Examiners moderately value Achievement. Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment.

Psychological Demands

Each occupation brings its own set of psychological demands, which describe the characteristics necessary to perform the job well.

In order to perform their job successfully, people who work as Financial Examiners must consistently demonstrate qualities such as analytical thinking, integrity, and attention to detail.

Below, you'll find a list of qualities typically required of Financial Examiners, ranked by importance:

Analytical Thinking
Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
Integrity
Job requires being honest and ethical.
Attention to Detail
Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
Cooperation
Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
Dependability
Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.

What education and training do Financial Examiners need?

Many Financial Examiners will have a four-year bachelor's degree, but some do not.

Financial Examiners usually need several years of work-related experience, on-the-job training, and/or vocational training.

Educational degrees among Financial Examiners

  • 0.3% did not complete high school or secondary school
  • 6.4% completed high school or secondary school
  • 6.4% completed some college coursework
  • 5.9% earned a Associate's degree
  • 52.2% earned a Bachelor's degree
  • 24.4% earned a Master's degree
  • 4.5% earned a doctorate or professional degree

Knowledge and expertise required by Financial Examiners

Financial Examiners may benefit from understanding of specialized subject areas, such as economics and accounting, law and government, or mathematics knowledge.

The list below shows several areas in which most Financial Examiners might want to build proficiency, ranked by importance.

Economics and Accounting
Knowledge of economic and accounting principles and practices, the financial markets, banking, and the analysis and reporting of financial data.
Law and Government
Knowledge of laws, legal codes, court procedures, precedents, government regulations, executive orders, agency rules, and the democratic political process.
Mathematics
Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
Administration and Management
Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
Computers and Electronics
Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.

Important Abilities needed by Financial Examiners

Financial Examiners must develop a particular set of abilities to perform their job well. Abilities are individual capacities that influence a person's information processing, sensory perception, motor coordination, and physical strength or endurance. Individuals may naturally have certain abilities without explicit training, but most abilities can be sharpened somewhat through practice.

For example, Financial Examiners need abilities such as written comprehension, inductive reasoning, and oral expression in order to perform their job at a high level. The list below shows several important abilities for Financial Examiners, ranked by their relative importance.

Written Comprehension
The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
Inductive Reasoning
The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
Oral Expression
The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
Deductive Reasoning
The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
Problem Sensitivity
The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing that there is a problem.

Critical Skills needed by Financial Examiners

Skills are developed capacities that enable people to function effectively in real-world settings. Unlike abilities, skills are typically easier to build through practice and experience. Skills influence effectiveness in areas such as learning, working with others, design, troubleshooting, and more.

Financial Examiners frequently use skills like reading comprehension, critical thinking, and speaking to perform their job effectively. The list below shows several critical skills for Financial Examiners, ranked by their relative importance.

Reading Comprehension
Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work-related documents.
Critical Thinking
Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions, or approaches to problems.
Speaking
Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Active Listening
Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Writing
Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.

What is the source of this information?

The information provided on this page is adapted from data and descriptions published by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration under the CC BY 4.0 license. TraitLab has modified some information for ease of use and reading, and the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment, and Training Administration has not approved, endorsed, or tested these modifications.

If you have any questions or suggestions about this information, please send a message.