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How To Identify A Banking Professional

Financial Institution Certification Program Sets Standards
A year ago BANKERS' HOTLINE ran an article about the Super Security Professional (Vol.I, No.2). At that time the American Bankers Association's (ABA) Security and Risk Management Committee had just introduced the idea of a Certification Program for financial institution security officers.

That program is now a reality.

The Institute of Certified Bankers (ICB) has been organized and incorporated in Delaware. This nonprofit, professional association of individuals in specialty areas of the financial services industry has developed several programs leading to professional certification:
CRCM-for regulatory compliance, the Certified Regulatory Compliance Manager;
CCTS-for corporate trust, the Certified Corporate Trust specialist;
CTFA-for personal trust, the Certified Trust and Financial Advisor; and
CFSSP-for security, the Certified Financial Services Security Professional .

In order to qualify for the letters CFSSP to appear after their name, security officers will have tough criteria to meet. After exhibiting qualification by reason of their work experience, and/or specific schooling, and producing letters of recommendation, they will then have to pass a qualifying examination.

This exam will test knowledge and understanding in specific areas of financial institution security.

Among them will be:
Developing a written security program-defining responsibilities, establishing standard operating procedures and determining the scope and content of the program.

Security devices-including alarms, cameras, access controls, vaults and safes, ATMs, night drops, barriers, communication devices, dye packs, bait money and technical standards.

Crimes-internal (embezzlement, drugs, conflict of interest, falsification of records, insurance fraud) and external (burglary, robbery, larceny, check fraud, credit card fraud, wire fraud, loan fraud).

Investigations-including due diligence and the use of polygraph, drug analysis, bio-analysis (fingerprint, hair, urine and blood) and pre-employment background screening.

Life Safety-including first aid and emergency medical assistance, evacuation procedures, natural disaster plans, employee training, prevention programs and equipment.

Legal, regulatory and administrative responsibilities-including regulatory requirements, budgeting, risk assessment, personnel training and management, planning and managing external relationships.

The Institute has mandated that, for a limited time, security officers who demonstrate an exceptional combination of education and experience may qualify for the CFSSP designation by grandfathering, provided they meet certain requirements. The grandfathering provision will expire on July 31, 1991.

Qualified CFSSP individuals will automatically become a member of the Institute of Certified Bankers with full voting privileges.

But the training doesn't stop there. As can be expected, there are annual recertification and maintenance requirements.

The designation of CFSSP appearing after a security officer's name will tell management it can rely on the officer's ability to understand complex security issues, identify and evaluate potential security risks and exposures and develop appropriate responses and solutions. The officer will be recognized as an expert in security who has demonstrated both organizational skills and technical knowledge regarding security.

BANKERS' HOTLINE solidly supports the certification program. We have offered our services to ICB to help inform bankers where and when examinations will be held, and column space for updates on security information for CFSSP members. We wish the Institute success in their efforts and applaud them for their vision.

Copyright © 1991 Bankers' Hotline. Originally appeared in Bankers' Hotline, Vol. 2, No. 1, 1/91

First published on 01/01/1991

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