|Wednesday, 01 August 2012 6:16pm|
Products and Services | ICBA Compliance & Risk Management®
Citizens State Bank of Cortez discovers an all-in-one compliance resource in the new ICBA Compliance & Risk Management
By Katie Kuehner-Hebert
The Citizens State Bank of Cortez has undergone a number of changes over the past year. But thanks to help from the ICBA Compliance & Risk Management services program, the Colorado community bank’s compliance operations have experienced smooth sailing, says Bethany Turner, vice president of operations and cashier.
Turner says the new compliance consulting services program that ICBA launched this spring for community banks has given Citizens State Bank not just affordable professional compliance audits and advice, but also useful tools and instruction to allow the bank’s compliance operations to run more independently in the future. “So by the time compliance auditors get in here every four or six months,” she says, “we’ve been reviewing compliance issues with a level of expertise that ensures there aren’t any surprises that they discover. That’s the goal.”
Auditors associated with the ICBA Compliance & Risk Management program have worked with Turner and other Citizens State Bank staff extensively on Bank Secrecy Act compliance, conducting independent reviews on the bank’s processes and procedures throughout the year. Those auditors also reviewed the $78 million-asset bank’s deposit and loan processes.
“We’re a small-town community bank and they understand the things we are dealing with on a daily basis, that a lot of organizations wouldn’t even pay attention to because we’re not a $1 billion bank,” Turner says.
Daniel A. Weiss, president and CEO of Chartwell Compliance in Rockville, Md., which administers the ICBA Compliance & Risk Management program, says the program is designed to help community banks avoid the use of multiple compliance consultants and vendors. He describes the ICBA program as an affordable “all in one” compliance consulting option, one that complements ICBA’s many regulatory resources and education, training and certification programs.
Providing a range of professionals at Chartwell Compliance with first-class compliance expertise, the ICBA Compliance & Risk Management program offers advice on compliance audits, risk assessments, training, loan review and outsourcing compliance administrators. The program’s auditors and consultants have expertise related to Bank Secrecy Act/anti-money laundering, the Office of Foreign Assets Control, unfair or deceptive acts or practices, the Community Reinvestment Act, flood insurance, capital requirements and enforcement action solutions. The program also provides risk management and governance consulting services and can offer assistance to banks conducting due diligence on potential mergers and acquisitions.
“We feel every client is critically important, and, along with high service delivery standards coupled with a smaller firm’s pricing, we believe we deliver a value unmatched in the marketplace,” Weiss says.
Turner found the auditor Citizens State Bank used through the ICBA Compliance & Risk Management program to be very accessible. “I’ve been able to contact her with the simplest questions, even the ones I may be embarrassed to ask, and she has always made sure to tell me what I needed to know—no question was too big or too small,” she says. “Not only has she helped me with the questions I may have, she has led me to resources that I may not have been aware of so that I can explore the answer for myself.”
The auditor also has been very flexible, which, importantly, is saving Citizens State Bank money on compliance, Turner adds. “They do all they can to make it affordable and convenient for us.”
Katie Kuehner-Hebert is a financial writer in Running Springs, Calif.