When I was in the banking industry, one of our main mantras was “Compliance is your friend.” While it’s true that often times the words “Bank Compliance” can strike fear into even the heartiest of bankers, it really is important that the requirements a bank is expected to uphold are met; it is always in the best interest of both the bank itself and the customers. That’s why when purchasing bank supplies, it definitely pays to make sure you’re providing the proper signage for your locations.
There are several types of signage that need to be present in a bank, and these can be required by governmental agencies, as well as state ones. And while you’ll want to check with your compliance department to ensure you’ve got everything you need, here’s a breakdown of the different types of signage you’ll want to make sure you have on hand.
FDIC Signage – a Definite Must
Your bank isn’t mandated to be a member of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, but most banks are members, as the ability to claim that qualifying deposits are insured by the U.S. government is a definite added incentive for customers. So most likely, your bank is a member of the FDIC and if so, you’ll want – and need – to display adequate signage informing your customers of your affiliation with the FDIC.
Signage required for FDIC members include Funds Availability signage, FDIC member / logo signage, and CRA signage – indicating you participate in the Community Reinvestment Act.
And don’t forget that credit unions have separate signage for their NCUA membership, so be sure to check with your compliance department to make sure you’re ordering the right kind.
Certain signs may be required in your branch, depending on your bank’s lending status. If your bank is required to provide Home Mortgage Disclosure Act information, you’ll want to display an HMDA Notice.
Another important sign is an Equal Housing Lender countertop sign or wall sign. If you don’t display this, it might appear that your bank isn’t an equal opportunity lender, and no one wants that! Lending is an important part of the banking business model, so it’s vitally important to make sure your customers know you’re in compliance with all industry requirements.
Know Your Patriot Act Basics
The Patriot Act is a complicated, yet extremely important piece of the banking landscape. Banks are required by Federal law to collect and maintain certain pieces of information on their customers, and are also required to notify customers of this need by the display of signage in the bank’s physical location.
Patriot Act and CIP (Customer Identification Program) signs are required by law but can also provide a certain level of comfort to your customers, so they know you’re doing everything possible to ensure the safety of their identity as well as their assets.
Check with State and Local Lawmakers for Additional Requirements
In addition to Federal signage requirements, your bank may need additional signs, depending on where you’re located. Some signage requirements can vary from state to state, so you definitely won’t want to forget to check for any local requirements you might need to comply with.
Optional Signage – Pick and Choose Wisely
Other types of signage might be needed or wanted in your bank branches, depending on what programs your bank participates in, and what types of marketing you want to do. For optional signage, you’ll want to work with your marketing department and management team, to make sure you’re creating the look and feel you want in your physical locations. When it comes to optional signage, you might want to remember the old adage, “less is more!”
Look for the Right Signage and Supply Retailer
The bottom line is simple – bank signage can be complicated! That’s why it’s important to do your homework, and make sure that you work closely with your compliance department to ensure you’ve got all the signage you are required by law to display. Once you’ve got the necessary signage, you can work with your management team to decide what else you’d like to include.
Remember – it’s just as important to be as careful with ordering bank signage as it is any other type of bank supplies. Often you can find a retailer who sells both bank signage and bank supplies. It pays to look for a seller who has actual experience in the banking industry, so they can help answer questions you may have. It’s arguably just as important that they can provide you with knowledge and superior customer service, as well as high quality supplies at a reasonable price. Signage is an important part of setting the tone and level of professionalism in your bank, so be sure you make the right choices.