Matt Gunn, Managing Editor | Safe Systems

Ask a senior officer at a bank or credit union what keeps them up at night, and you’re sure to see vendor management is sure to come up as a common answer. And for no lack of academic study and trade media attention do the common concerns about the topic seem to be go away.

That’s in part because of the implications vendor management bears on compliance. In the last two years, for instance, every single Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council regulatory update has either directly or indirectly addressed vendor management. In short, the reason bankers are so concerned with vendor management is because the regulators don’t give them any other choice.

But for every one of those FFIEC updates, Tom Hinkel has dedicated countless hours to understanding, distilling and translating what they mean. Whether it’s through his popular Compliance Guru blog, his frequent talks at industry events or simply working with individual institutions, Hinkel, Safe Systems’ VP of compliance, has positioned himself as one of the foremost experts in financial services IT compliance.

As Hinkel explains it, vendor management is the common factor in many of the new technologies that have become popular over the past several years — things like cloud computing, social media and various payments services. And the regulators have made it clear that, as long as financial institutions continue to push forward to provide these technologies to their employees and their customers, that there will always be a need to ensure that those outside vendors uphold a standard of service and security on par with the same expectations of a bank.