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#2237598 - 06/04/20 08:45 PM Unseen/Unheard
EuphegeniaDoubtfire Offline
Junior Member
Joined: Sep 2018
Posts: 44
Hi,
I feel as though anything I say is not heard, whether personal or work related. Personal isn't as bad but when it comes to work, part of my job is to inform the appropriate people about errors needing corrected, or follow up on previous issues. Emails are sent, notes are left, NOTHING. I get read receipts from emails, still no response. I ask a question on behalf of a customer that's on the phone, yet get interrupted in the middle of my questions so a personal conversation can be had instead. I get so mad, this is almost an every day occurrence. I feel disrespected and unheard, as though my job doesn't matter. I try hard but now don't feel like it's worth caring about since nobody else seems to. I almost want to look elsewhere but nowhere in this small town is there a comparable job when it comes to benefits, wage, or flexibility. What do I do frown

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#2237609 - 06/05/20 01:09 PM Re: Unseen/Unheard EuphegeniaDoubtfire
Hoosierland Offline
Platinum Poster
Joined: Oct 2006
Posts: 679
Although I don't have any easy answers for you, please know that I HEAR YOU. I'm going to make a couple of assumptions based on what you've said.

The first assumption is that your job is either compliance or audit related, since you "inform people about errors." I spent 20 years working in that capacity at a small bank and can tell you that what I experienced was similar. Senior management was very focused on the bottom line, and in their minds, that meant the focus was on lending, period. The lenders knew that their jobs were secure as long as they kept making good loans. Whether or not they responded to me was almost irrelevant. I was an "expense" whose job was required to keep external auditors and examiners happy. It's hard to get much attention or be taken very seriously when that is the mindset at the top of the organization.

The second assumption, based on your username, is that you are a woman. I am as well. My small bank absolutely had a "good ol' boys" network, which I was never going to be a part of (nor did I particularly want to be). I suspect that many small-town banks are this way, and I don't know of any solution to that.

There are a couple of things that helped me to gain a little respect and "clout." One is simply time/longevity. I don't know how long you've been in your position, but in my case, the longer I was in my job, the easier it got to get responses and be heard. For me, this was because I had gained more experience, and had also "outlasted" many people in our bank. I was also very young (20s) when I started, so people took me more seriously as I got older. The second thing that helped me was, ironically, a less than stellar exam. It's funny how that will get people's attention. When an examiner is saying the same things that you have been saying (but your audience has been ignoring), suddenly your role is seen a little differently. As a result of that exam, we hired a consulting firm who made quarterly visits to the bank. I made an ally of our consultant, and made sure she knew where the pain points were so that she could mention those in her reports. That gave additional weight to the things that I had been trying to tell them in between her visits. Plus, her results were documented in reports that were seen by the examiners, which didn't hurt my case either.

One last thing that we did was to form a Compliance Committee. I'm not talking about a board committee, but an employee committee. We pulled in people from all different areas of the bank. That way, there were more people who were repeatedly hearing about issues or changes, and more people who had some skin in the game. More people understanding the "why" behind compliance issues helped to change our culture a little bit.

I wish I had solid answers for your dilemma, but I don't. I just wanted to respond to you to let you know that you aren't alone in this. Hang in there!
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If ignorance is bliss, there ought to be more happy people.

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#2237630 - 06/05/20 03:13 PM Re: Unseen/Unheard EuphegeniaDoubtfire
EuphegeniaDoubtfire Offline
Junior Member
Joined: Sep 2018
Posts: 44
Thanks for your response, I appreciate it! Both of your assumptions are correct. My work environment is a little different however, it is mostly women, and we all know what can come of that from time to time. Many of the employees are related as well so that makes for an awkward atmosphere. I am grateful for my job and the benefits, but sometimes just get so overwhelmed with drama/lack of communication that it doesn't feel worth it. There is a lot of "we've always done it this way" types of situations. I feel like I could go on and on. I feel stuck! Thank you for listening, it really helps to be able to vent to someone else in the same industry/profession.

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#2237631 - 06/05/20 03:25 PM Re: Unseen/Unheard EuphegeniaDoubtfire
Skittles Offline
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Skittles
Joined: Sep 2002
Posts: 13,963
TN
How does your bank fare during compliance examinations? Do you prepare audit/monitoring reports - and if so, where do those go (i.e. Audit Committee, Compliance Committee, etc.)?
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#2237644 - 06/05/20 05:02 PM Re: Unseen/Unheard EuphegeniaDoubtfire
EuphegeniaDoubtfire Offline
Junior Member
Joined: Sep 2018
Posts: 44
As far as I'm aware they do alright, I am not kept in the loop of results of exams. I prepare many of the audits for the bank, while some other reports/audits are done by superiors. I am only involved if there's a request or question on one of the reports I've performed.

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#2237645 - 06/05/20 05:02 PM Re: Unseen/Unheard EuphegeniaDoubtfire
EuphegeniaDoubtfire Offline
Junior Member
Joined: Sep 2018
Posts: 44
All my stuff goes to the board

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#2237648 - 06/05/20 05:27 PM Re: Unseen/Unheard EuphegeniaDoubtfire
Skittles Offline
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Skittles
Joined: Sep 2002
Posts: 13,963
TN
I apologize but have another question - do your audits have repeat findings? If so this should be evident (if it's not already) in your audits. If your Board is seeing that and chooses to do nothing then they will be held accountable.
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#2237655 - 06/05/20 06:09 PM Re: Unseen/Unheard EuphegeniaDoubtfire
EuphegeniaDoubtfire Offline
Junior Member
Joined: Sep 2018
Posts: 44
Some of them do! And usually it is addressed with everyone in a bad mood and I'm the one smiling. My biggest problem is that I have to request items for reviews multiple times and do not receive materials in a timely manner. And it is always the "I have more important things to do" response if I even get one! But this time instead of sugar coating the reason, I am bluntly going to say that many requests were sent with no response. Time to throw them under the bus! Sick of this game.

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#2237660 - 06/05/20 07:11 PM Re: Unseen/Unheard EuphegeniaDoubtfire
Hoosierland Offline
Platinum Poster
Joined: Oct 2006
Posts: 679
I used to battle getting timely responses too. Eventually I started putting "No Response Received" in bold italics in my reports. Not sure how much it helped but it did make me feel better!

I find it very interesting that you are performing audits but are not privy to the exam results. What (and how) you are auditing/reviewing may need to be adjusted based on examiner findings/comments. I would consider having a discussion about getting in that loop.

I agree with what Skittles said about the Board seeing repeat findings and being held accountable. But that accountability may be slow to come. At my former bank, the Board's (sole?) concern was making money. We were a very high-performing bank. For many, many exam cycles, the examiners seemed to let several things slide because of that. Board accountability eventually happened when we (finally) had a less-than-exemplary Compliance exam--which I believe stemmed from a very specific incident that happened at the beginning of the exam. Had that incident not occurred, I think things would have been allowed to slide again for that exam, and nothing would have changed.
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If ignorance is bliss, there ought to be more happy people.

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#2237661 - 06/05/20 07:19 PM Re: Unseen/Unheard EuphegeniaDoubtfire
Skittles Offline
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Skittles
Joined: Sep 2002
Posts: 13,963
TN
And one of the most frustrating statements is 'the examiners never mentioned that'. Sometimes I think people believe that examiners look at everything when they perform an exam. And obviously all of us know that doesn't happen.
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#2237663 - 06/05/20 07:31 PM Re: Unseen/Unheard EuphegeniaDoubtfire
EuphegeniaDoubtfire Offline
Junior Member
Joined: Sep 2018
Posts: 44
Yeah, I'm not sure if that will help, but we'll see if I get any comments on that.

Our CEO is working her way into retirement, and will give me comments here and there and let me know if there are questions or concerns on specific audits/reports. But since she is rarely here, I don't feel the same interest is being taken by the staff that is here all the time.

Maybe I'm just considered an essential spot to fill and as long as I have paperwork turned in every month that is all that is concerning.

OR MAYBE: The lack of communication makes me think these things when that isn't the case!

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#2237697 - 06/08/20 03:41 PM Re: Unseen/Unheard Skittles
RR Joker Offline
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RR Joker
Joined: Nov 2002
Posts: 20,654
The Swamp
Originally Posted by Skittles
And one of the most frustrating statements is 'the examiners never mentioned that'. Sometimes I think people believe that examiners look at everything when they perform an exam. And obviously all of us know that doesn't happen.


Going through that very thing right now with CU acquisition. UGH
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#2237713 - 06/08/20 04:44 PM Re: Unseen/Unheard EuphegeniaDoubtfire
TMatt87 Offline
Diamond Poster
TMatt87
Joined: May 2011
Posts: 1,923
Idaho
Just my two cents, but this is how I gained the respect of the lenders and management "boy's club" (note - I am male, so I'm sure it was easier for me to gain traction):

1 - Become an expert in something no one wants to deal with. I started in compliance in 2010 and quickly became in expert in the "new" GFE process. It was a major pain point for lenders, so they all called me for help. Showing you know your stuff in one area will give you some leeway in other areas.

2 - Find ways to make the "producers" lives easier. Look for manual processes that can be automated, or roadblocks that can be removed. I aggressively pushed for scanning loan files and eventually the adoption of Docusign, and the time savings and convenience has been a huge hit. Having them know that you aren't just the police, but also trying to help improve their processes can go a long way, even if it isn't necessarily in your job description.

Always make sure to document your recommendations, formal and informal. I have certain lenders that won't respond to my emails. They will call me back, and I'm sure its so their response won't be in writing. I always follow up with a summary of the discussion so I can retain a copy for my CYA file.

Good Luck!
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#2237917 - 06/11/20 02:33 PM Re: Unseen/Unheard EuphegeniaDoubtfire
EuphegeniaDoubtfire Offline
Junior Member
Joined: Sep 2018
Posts: 44
Thank you, I am a big believer in keeping a CYA file too. I always send written requests so I can go back and say yes, it was sent on this date at this time.

Thanks for the advice, I'll have to keep my eyes open for that kind of thing.

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#2237984 - 06/12/20 12:46 PM Re: Unseen/Unheard EuphegeniaDoubtfire
edAudit Offline
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edAudit
Joined: Jul 2008
Posts: 4,765
You are here
Sorry, I did not see or hear this post.
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#2238036 - 06/12/20 07:25 PM Re: Unseen/Unheard EuphegeniaDoubtfire
EuphegeniaDoubtfire Offline
Junior Member
Joined: Sep 2018
Posts: 44
LOL thanks for the response! laugh

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