Full range of consulting services helps financial institution pursue growth goals
CASE STUDY |
Our client is a financial institution with $500 million in assets. The bank has a growth strategy in place to expand to over $1 billion in assets within the next two years through mergers and acquisitions as well as organic growth.
The bank developed relationships with several smaller local firms for their consulting needs. However, with their aggressive growth plans, they felt the need to pursue a new relationship with a larger firm that possessed deeper knowledge and experience. The bank needed a firm that could provide internal auditing services, assist their compliance department with questions, special projects and staff augmentation, FDICIA compliance assistance, SOX and IPO readiness (in the event they go public), and perform loan credit quality reviews to assist management in determining the adequacy of their loan risk rating system.
Additionally, the bank needed help satisfying regulators on its allowance for loan losses model methodology and sought controls efficiency while remaining compliant with BSA/AML requirements. The bank felt most comfortable working with a single, larger, national firm with the resources to fulfill its loan review, internal audit, regulatory compliance and other consulting needs.
RSM was selected as the bank’s consulting partner after demonstrating a range of capabilities and depth of knowledge in banking and compliance matters. Working with one firm for all the institution’s needs would streamline the bank’s operations and help it more easily achieve its growth goals.
To help alleviate the bank’s allowance for loan losses model concerns, RSM consulted with bank executives and provided feedback and examples of different models with similar loan portfolios. These discussions allowed the chief credit officer and chief financial officer to create and implement a model internally, rather than hiring an outside firm to perform the work. With the new model in operation, the bank has received positive feedback from regulators and from their external auditors.
In the midst of the work performed for the bank, a potential acquisition was identified. The institution took advantage of RSM’s M&A consulting capabilities, bringing in a financial advisory services team to help perform due diligence and review the quality of the target bank’s loans.
In response to the bank’s concerns about BSA/AML efficiency, the RSM team took a close look at reducing the number of controls while remaining in full compliance. Many firms can perform a BSA/AML review, but few can do it in conjunction with streamlining compliance policy. RSM understood the bank’s needs and restructured existing controls, creating a more proficient and secure system.
The bank has internal compliance personnel, but increasing regulatory changes and demands have been overwhelming. Without the time or capacity to keep up with mounting compliance demands, the institution partnered with RSM in a co-sourcing relationship to manage its Fair Lending Act compliance. The relationship has been a major benefit to the bank, allowing it to remain compliant without adding full-time staff.
Lastly, to support its growth goals, the bank decided to upgrade its core banking system. Oftentimes, this can be a difficult conversion, and serious consequences can occur if implementation is not handled correctly. The bank did not have the depth of internal experience; therefore, in addition to the scope of the initial engagement, the RSM technology team was brought in to design and implement a new infrastructure and help ensure a seamless transition while keeping conversion costs to a minimum.
The lead client server on this engagement referred the IT controls and IT internal audit services to a RSM technology risk advisory consultant. The team analyzed internal and external technology controls and performed security reviews. The bank’s existing systems were satisfactory overall, but RSM discovered some minor issues with the potential to balloon into larger problems. The institution was notified of these concerns, with recommendations provided for remediation. The team also found a lack of sufficient IT security planning. In response, RSM advisors made suggestions on various aspects of implementing a comprehensive plan, including appropriate security policy, practices around IT security exemptions and several other measures.
Following the engagement, the client’s CEO and risk manager realized the benefit of utilizing one firm for their full spectrum of risk, financial, M&A and technology needs. A synergy now exists where all of the bank’s business units work together, and a strong foundation has been built with RSM for ongoing and future work. When the bank is in need of RSM’s services, the team works together behind the scenes to ensure integration across all service areas. RSM understands the bank’s structure and needs, ensuring the bank is better positioned to grow.
Other benefits of RSM’s service include:
- Designing and implementing an allowance for loan loss model in-house, saving the bank money
- Maintaining compliance with Fair Lending through co-sourcing (no additional staff had to be hired)
- Providing M&A assistance, including identifying target institutions, providing due diligence and loan review services
- Upgrading the core banking system to account for future growth
- Developing efficiency in BSA/AML controls