May 8, 2015 12:31 pm

By: Cody Roberts, CRCM

Through the Institute of Certified Bankers (ICB), the American Bankers Association (ABA) has sought to educate and certify bankers in specific areas of expertise. Currently, ICB offers nine professional certification programs in the areas of wealth management and trust, compliance and risk management, lending, bank marketing and retirement services. The certification for compliance is the Certified Regulatory Compliance Manager (CRCM), a worthy career goal for compliance auditors, compliance officers and even bank counsel.

The perquisites to enter the CRCM certification process include:

  • A minimum of three years of U.S. experience as a compliance professional with primary responsibility for the full range of compliance functions including  performing compliance reviews and managing appropriate strategies to help the institution comply with U.S. federal laws and regulations
  • A minimum of 80 hours of compliance-related training within the last five years
  • One letter of recommendation
  • A signed ethics statement
  • An application to take the CRCM certification exam and payment of the accompanying exam fee

The CRCM examination is composed of 200 multiple-choice questions covering credit, deposits, bank operations, BSA/AML/OFAC, CRA and privacy to be answered in a four-hour time frame. However, I would suggest not repeating my past —taking this exam twice—once in the 1990s and again in 2005 in my case.

Following the successful completion of the exam, Certified Regulatory Compliance Managers must fulfill the certification requirements by completing 60 credits of applicable training in a three-year period.  In addition, CRCMs must stay in good ethical standing and pay an annual renewal fee.  I have even heard of banks paying this fee on behalf of their compliance professionals.

As a result of attaining a CRCM certification, you will be professionally recognized throughout the banking industry.  In addition, you will be more employable (I recently heard qualified compliance officers are in short supply). Finally, you will become a member of a network of top-notch compliance professionals that can provide valuable advice to you in your daily duties.

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