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E-Learning Creates Fast Ramp To Banking Compliance

Regulatory compliance requirements are constantly changing. E-learning can be an ideal way to train bank employees and to keep them current on the regulations. BS&T spoke with Jim McNeil, executive director of content development and delivery at BAI in Chicago, who shared his insight into the ways banks can best use e-learning to address compliance issues.

Q. How are banks using e-learning and training to address current regulatory compliance requirements? How could banks better use e-training for this purpose?

A. McNeil: Banks are looking for a combination of continuing and quick response compliance training that e-learning facilitates. For example, BAI produced training based on the final Check 21 regulations only three days after final regulations were issued, with more in-depth materials to follow. A Learner Management System (LMS), which schedules and tracks ongoing training for a larger group of students, simplifies administering and documenting compliance training. A bank that is fully leveraging this training option will have e-learning in place, processes, and internal systems to support it, and an LMS system to provide scheduling and tracking data.

Q. What are the key benefits to banks of using e-training to help meet mandatory compliance requirements? Are there any drawbacks/risks?

A. McNeil: Some of the benefits for banks would include:

  • Consistency in training -- all staff receives the same message
  • Built-in testing -- immediate confirmation of comprehension
  • Easy access to materials -- in the office, at home
  • Flexible scheduling -- no set class time
  • Simpler administration -- systematic attendance/completion tracking
  • On-demand review of materials -- easier to refresh knowledge

    Challenges might include:

  • Learner preferences for personal interaction in a training environment
  • Competing for attention in the office -- able to carve out time to complete learning
  • Addressing cultural change issues

    Q. What are some of the success factors to effectively deploying e-learning as part of a regulatory compliance strategy? What should banks look for in an e-learning solution (software/service) when it comes to addressing compliance issues?

    A. McNeil: Success factors for compliance training are similar to any e-learning program -- ensure that the courses you select match your IT environment, and choose a vendor that understands your unique training needs and provides regularly updated, quality training. There are many ways to tailor a solution for your company. While customizing courses can be expensive, providing an integrated solution can be as simple as sending out an e-mail with instructions to accompany the course, sending all learners a package with instructions and the company forms that they might see, or having a follow-up class to discuss questions and issues. The quality of the learning, and its applicability, should be the most important considerations.

    Q. What do you see as possible future uses of an e-learning strategy for compliance issues (e.g., pending new regulatory requirements, M&A trend, etc.)?

    A. McNeil: Banks with e-learning in place might consider initiating ongoing testing for front-line staff, especially since the level of required regulatory knowledge keeps increasing. Establishing periodic, electronically-administered diagnostic tests not only shows the compliance officer that the training has taken place, but that the information has been retained. The ideal implementation provides learners feedback on which materials should be reviewed. Front-line turnover and growing employee populations in merged organizations are important issues. Implementing a training program that new-hires can access individually addresses the group training scheduling challenges facing banks with large numbers of geographically dispersed employees.

    For more information on e-learning and regulatory compliance, see the September issue of Bank Systems & Technology.

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