n. an official appointed to audit the accounts of banks in a given jurisdiction
A bank examiner is a financial professional, a species of auditor, who has the task of making sure that banks, savings and loans, credit unions and similar financial institutions are operating legally, ethically, and safely, in accordance with the bank regulations imposed on these institutions by the chartering level of government. In the United States, they may conduct supervision on behalf of state governments, a United States government agency, or the Federal Reserve System; or they make work for the financial institutions themselves as internal auditors.
Bank examiners act to monitor, assess, and evaluate the compliance of institutions with relevant regulations and laws, including the institution's own stated policies and procedures. They evaluate the condition of risk management, recordkeeping, compliance with data entry and transaction regulations, and on the staff's ability to understand and follow relevant protocols. The bank examination process may include personal inspection of the facility and its physical records, as well as computer access to electronic records. Bank examiners usually work on-site, traveling to various institutions and branches as scheduled or as requested, although some work may also be done through remote access. The bank examiner is expected to be knowledgeable of finance and accounting principles (particularly forensic accounting), as well as the relevant banking procedures and protocols. In some cases, an examiner will have worked in management positions in such institutions.
Bank examiners report findings to their employing agency, and possibly to the board of directors and upper management of the examined institution. They are expected to provide analysis and evidence to substantiate their findings, in an objective and non-judgmental manner; and in particular to draw any serious violations of regulations to the appropriate levels of authority. Examiners, particularly those employed by a regulatory agency, may assign ratings to institutions and impose civil penalties or other punishments for noncompliance.