Bank Director Releases 2020 Risk Survey Results

The 2020 Risk Survey examines U.S. bank leaders’ concerns, including cybersecurity and credit risk.

BRENTWOOD, TENN., March 31, 2020 – Bank Director, the leading information resource for directors and officers of financial institutions nationwide, today released its 2020 Risk Survey, sponsored by Moss Adams LLP. Findings indicate almost 60% of respondents cite increased concerns around credit risk. This is consistent with the Federal Reserve’s Senior Loan Officer Opinion Survey from January, which reports dampened demand for commercial loans, and expectations that credit quality will moderately deteriorate.

The banking industry found itself more stressed in March, as the U.S. economy screeched to a halt as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Federal Reserve lowered interest rates effectively to zero, further pressuring net interest margins. The survey was conducted in January.

“Interestingly, Bank Director’s 2020 Risk Survey finds respondents almost unanimously reporting that their bank’s loan standards have remained consistent over the past year. However, the majority (67%) also believe that competing banks and credit unions have eased their underwriting standards over the same time period,” says Emily McCormick, vice president of research at Bank Director.

In addition, cyber anxiety among bank leaders continues to rise. Eighty-seven percent of respondents say their concerns about cybersecurity threats have risen over the past year. This is the top risk facing the banking industry, according to executives and directors. Further, 77% say their bank has significantly increased its oversight of cybersecurity and data privacy.

“In an industry heavily impacted by disruption and the ensuing risk, the increased attention by institution leadership is critical to ensuring success and instilling customer confidence,” says Craig Sanders, Partner at Moss Adams.

Additional key findings from the survey include:

Scaling Back on Stress Tests
The Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief and Consumer Protection Act, passed in May 2018, freed banks between $10 billion and $50 billion in assets from the Dodd-Frank Act (DFAST) stress test requirements. While last year’s survey found that 60% of respondents in these banks planned to keep their stress test practices in place, participants this year reveal they have scaled back (7%) or modified (67%) these procedures. 

Board Oversight
Most boards review cybersecurity regularly — either quarterly (46%) or at every board meeting (24%). How the board handles cybersecurity governance varies: 28% handle it within a technology committee, 26% within the risk committee and 19% as a full board. Just one-third have a director with cybersecurity expertise.

Ready for CECL
More than half of survey respondents say their bank is prepared to comply with the current expected credit loss (CECL) standards; 43% indicate they will be prepared when the standards take effect for their institution.

Climate Change Overlooked
Despite rising attention from regulators, proxy advisors and shareholders, just 11% say their bank’s board discusses climate change at least annually as part of its analysis and understanding of the risks facing the organization. Just 9% say an executive reports to the board annually about the risks and opportunities presented by climate change. More than 20% of respondents say their bank has been impacted by a natural disaster in the past two years.

The survey includes the views of more than 200 independent directors, chief executive officers, risk officers and other senior executives of U.S. banks below $50 billion in assets. Full survey results are now available online at and will be featured in the 2nd quarter 2020 issue of Bank Director magazine.

About Bank Director
Since 1991, Bank Director has served as a leading information resource for the directors and officers of financial institutions. Through Bank Director magazine, executive-level research, annual conferences and its website,, Bank Director reaches the leaders of the institutions that comprise America’s banking industry. Bank Director is headquartered in Brentwood, Tennessee.  For more information, please visit

About Moss Adams LLP
With more than 3,400 professionals across 25-plus locations, Moss Adams provides the world’s most innovative companies with specialized accounting, tax, and consulting services to help them embrace emerging opportunity. We serve over 400 banks and other financial institutions in all stages of the growth cycle helping our clients navigate an evolving regulatory environment, maintain profitability, and manage risk throughout each phase of their business’s growth. Discover how Moss Adams is bringing more West to business. For more information visit

Source:For more information, please contact Bank Director’s Chief Marketing Officer, Michelle King at