An adverse action notice is a document sent to a loan applicant stating a bank’s rationale for denying a loan. It may also contain a counteroffer, such as a lesser amount or a request for an approved co-borrower.
The term “aging exceptions” refers to a group of critical exceptions that have not been resolved within a reasonable amount of time.
An authorized signer form is a document that allows an account holder to grant a range of clearance levels to individuals to perform certain functions within a bank account.

Back-office staff at a bank or credit union encompasses all positions that are not account holder-facing. These jobs on the operations side of a financial institution include a wide array of duties necessary to keep an institution functioning. Some of these departments include:

  • Loan operations
  • Deposit operations
  • Accounting
  • Compliance & auditing
  • Underwriting
  • Information technology

Loan Operations

Bank employees in the loan operations department prepare loan documents, book loans, track insurance, and send executed collateral documents out for recording. They also manage the tickler system and build paper loan files or scan documents to create electronic files. Additionally, back-office staff in the loan operations department take payments and execute loan modifications and extensions.

Deposit Operations

Among their many duties, those working in deposit operations perform boarding tasks for new accounts, handle stop-payments and non-sufficient funds (NSF) situations and send out statements. Back-office staff in the deposit department reissue credit and debit cards if a customer or member’s card was lost or stolen. They also research and provide subpoenaed information as well.


The accounting department works with the financial institution’s general ledger. Back-office staff specializing in accounting keep an updated record of outstanding loan and deposit amounts as well as outgoing expenses, such as building maintenance and employee salaries. A bank or credit union’s accounting department also balances accounts daily, pays invoices for the institution, and generates reports for the institution’s board of directors as well as for federal regulators (such as call reports). Another aspect of the job may include using software to help make decisions to maximize the bank or credit union’s investments, earnings, liquidity, and capital.

Compliance and Auditing

The compliance and auditing department ensures that a financial institution’s policies and procedures are being followed. Other tasks may involve auditing loan files to see that they are being completed properly and monitoring to ensure the bank or credit union is following compliance requirements.


Although at some financial institutions underwriting is performed by lenders themselves (who are account holder-facing), underwriting is often considered a back-office position. This removes the human element that may otherwise sway a lender’s decision and ensures loan approval or denial is based on the pertinent data on the loan application.

Information Technology

The information technology (IT) department keeps a financial institution’s all-important computer systems running. This includes managing hardware and software, executing programs and reports, monitoring the bank or credit union’s cyber security, and handling in-house check processing. Although many banks and credit unions now outsource maintenance of their core systems, some still choose to manage them on-site; in these cases, back-office IT staff are in charge of intrusion testing to make sure the system is secure.

Other Back-Office Banking Departments

Like most businesses, banks and credit unions also have other standard departments, such as human resources (HR) and marketing. While the HR department handles recruitment, retention, annual reviews, and salary adjustments to keep the institution staffed, the marketing department works to keep current customers and members, and attract new account holders through printed materials, sponsorships, radio advertising, and other media channels.

Resources for Your Back-Office Staff

For more information on back-office management in the banking industry, be sure to check out our extensive resource library with free spreadsheets, whitepapers, and eBooks.

Browse our banking definitions page for more terminology.

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