Nationwide Survey Results Point to Need for Efficiency without Sacrificing Results

ALPHARETTA, Ga., Jan 18, 2012 (BUSINESS WIRE) — Safe Systems, winner of the 2010 and 2011 BankNews Innovative Solutions Awards, and national leader in compliance-centric IT support and hosted services exclusively for financial institutions, today announced the results of a proprietary survey designed to poll the experience of an IT compliance examination between banks who manage preparation internally, and those who bring in a third-party resource to assist in preparation.

“Compliance is a process, not an end goal. A financial institution’s ability to ‘check the box’ is a result of steps taken every day to reach a compliant state,” said Tom Hinkel, director of compliance for Safe Systems, and banking industry writer for “In this challenging banking environment, banks are under increasing regulatory pressure while simultaneously experiencing a strain on audit and examination resources. This combination is pushing community banks to do more with less, with higher regulatory expectations than ever before.”

This study analyzed over 80 banks nationwide with the intention of discovering the overall examination experience of the participants. Approximately half of the respondents used outside resources to prepare, while the other half dedicated in-house resources to the task. The IT composite score (CAMELS score), the most visible benchmark used to define successful compliance, is assigned to banks after the IT examination and has become the de-facto standard for adherence to regulatory guidelines. All 80 respondents, who responded anonymously, scored nearly the same on the IT composite score. However, the main finding of the survey indicates those who outsourced spent less time and resources in achieving those scores, had higher levels of confidence pre-exam, fewer difficulties experienced throughout the process and had the ability to accurately interpret findings post-exam.

Hinkel continued, “Regulatory standards continue to evolve, with increasing ‘concentration of duties’ findings as a result. Leveraging third party resources gives a bank the opportunity to more adequately prepare for an IT exam while redirecting in-house resources more appropriately. The results of the survey indicate that alternative preparation processes, including the use of third party resources, alleviates stress, time loss and misappropriation of internal resources without sacrificing results.”

As a technology provider specifically for financial institutions, Safe Systems provides specialized direction to assist in keeping a bank compliant with all FFIEC guidance. Safe Systems’ Compliance Services will ensure IT audits and examinations are a success by preparing IT policies and procedures, keeping the institution informed of current auditor and examiner trends, making certain the bank’s business continuity plan is both compliant and effective, providing enhanced reporting & documentation for immediate preparation for audits, document compliance with the Information Security program and assisting with Control Self Assessment process through quarterly system reviews.

This survey was a nationwide cross-reference of eighty banks of all asset sizes and in all stages of growth, including DeNovo institutions.

About Safe Systems

Founded in 1993, Safe Systems is the national leader in providing compliance-centric IT solutions exclusively to financial institutions. As a technology partner, and recent winner of the BankNews Innovative Solutions Award, Safe Systems has worked with over 500 financial institutions and manages over 25,000 network devices nationwide. Safe Systems’ scalable and cost effective solutions include IT managed services, compliance solutions, business continuity and disaster recovery, hosted email, data vaulting, network design and installation, security services, and IT and compliance training. Safe Systems helps financial institutions to significantly decrease costs, increase revenues, and improve performance. For additional information about Safe Systems, Inc., please visit or call 877-752-0550.


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