The Conference of State Bank Supervisors will officially unveil its new high-tech examiner training school in Dallas on Friday.
The Victor J. Riley Jr. Training and Development Center is geared toward state bank examiners, but the classes are also open to bankers.
By enrolling, bankers can learn about compliance the way examiners do, and more important, they learn what to expect during examinations, said Bonnie Selhorst, assistant vice president at the $88 million-asset Union Bank in Columbus Grove, Ohio.
"You get a much clearer picture of what the examiners are looking for when they come in to your institution," said Ms. Selhorst, who recently attended a class on uniform bank performance report analysis.
Students spend much of their class time at the Riley center in one of two computer labs, each containing 15 workstations. However, the role of technology in the training offered by the center extends beyond the classroom, said CSBS vice president Ellen Lamb.
For example, the first week of the two-week bank operations school - a popular course on the basics of financial statements and the Camel rating - can be completed on the student's own computer.
"It used be a two-week, on-site program, but under the new computer- based format the first week's material is in a binder of diskettes we send to the student," Ms. Lamb said.
Other programs popular among bankers include a credit evaluation course and a one-year course in management and organizational behavior, Ms. Lamb said.
The center, which opened its doors in February, is just now being dedicated because it's finally operating at full speed. Next year, the Conference of State Bank Supervisors plans to expand the center's course offerings to include basic and advanced trust examination classes.
Texas Banking Commissioner Catherine A. Ghiglieri is scheduled to speak at the dedication of the building, named after the chairman of Keycorp, which donated $750,000 to the center.
The building that houses the training center was once a branch of Northwest Bank, which failed in 1988. "You can still see the drive-through teller booths from some of the classroom windows, and there's still a vault," Ms. Lamb said.