Typically, the Security Officer reports directly to the board of directors, just like the auditor -- with interim reporting on a daily basis to the senior operations officer. Officers in charge of retail banking and human resources functions are often delegated the task of overseeing the security function -- with disastrous results. Retail banking is responsible for developing and maintaining customer service practices -- which may be at odds with effective security practices. Human resources often takes the position that it must represent employee rights first -- and the bank's interests second. If this is the case in your bank, you can look forward to encountering numerous investigative "speed bumps".
I suggest that you visit BOL's Banker Tools for a couple of items that may help you and your bank determine where the Security Officer fits within the organization:
Where you report is also determined, in part, by your bank's:
- Definition of "security" and its focus or emphasis;
- The number of employees;
- The number of branches, departments, functions and facilities; and
- The amount of security-related duties and activities.
First published on BankersOnline.com 7/1/02