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The Federal Reserve System is pleased to offer this free online training resource for bank directors. Use the text links below to navigate through the content in this section:
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This course was designed and built for bank directors from all vocations and occupations. However, much of the information will best help directors of smaller or community banks.
As banking supervisors, we believe that bank directors are the first line of defense in ensuring that banks are run safely. Better informed directors can help identify problems at an earlier stage, before more costly measures or regulatory actions are needed. We hope this course will help decrease your bank's costs and regulatory burden by sharpening the skills of those who provide your bank's oversight.
Insights for Bank Directors is an introductory course designed primarily for new outside directors with little banking experience, although those with more banking experience may find it a useful refresher.
The course is not intended to make new outside directors experts on banking. Instead, its main goal is to provide basic banking information to help new directors spot potential problems at their banks and to help prompt questions to the bank management on their resolution. Because of this, Insights for Bank Directors must be considered a beginning step of an educational journey for a director, a journey that continues for as long an individual serves on a bank board.
There are many additional educational opportunities sponsored by banking associations, state banking departments, federal banking agencies, consultants, and others to continue your learning experience. As a new or seasoned director, take advantage of these learning opportunities whenever you can.
You'll get information that will help you to judge your bank's overall performance. You'll also receive information on basic portfolio risks that all banks face (credit, market and liquidity), tools to monitor these risks and questions to ask when these tools reveal problems.
As a general model, content related to each type of risk covers:
We can't make you a banking expert in a limited number of hours; it takes years. Our goal is more modest – to provide you with enough knowledge on banking matters to know when to raise appropriate questions.
This course can help build your confidence by:
The Insights for Bank Directors course is designed to provide lots of information, within a structure that makes sense in sequence, but is easy to use as a reference. Various financial reports and helpful guidelines appear within each lesson area, or “agenda item,” in this course. If you would like to view a list of all the meeting materials for this course, or look for specific materials, check the Reference View.
The structure of this site will allow you pick and choose the topics you want to learn about at any given time. Reviewing all of the course materials for each particular agenda item may take 20 minutes to an hour, depending on the topic. The entire course contains about eight to ten hours of content. However, the course's online format allows you to work through the materials at your own pace, spending as little or as much time as you need.
The majority of the content for this course comes from the “Basic Training for Bank Directors” presentation, currently offered through specific Federal Reserve banks. The presentation material was authored by Forest Myers, economist, and Jim Hunter, assistant vice president, both from the Supervision and Risk Management Division at the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City. The Federal Reserve Center for Online Learning joined the effort to design and develop the online tool, with the help of many subject matter experts within the Federal Reserve system. Our thanks goes out to the many talented people on our development team.
The Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City has published the following books. Contact your district Reserve Bank to obtain a free copy:
Basics for Bank Directors (112 page pdf). Written by Forest E. Myers
Banking Regulation: Its Purposes, Implementation and Effects (281 page pdf). Written by Kenneth Spong.