What is a Banking Expert Witness?

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  • Written By: Mary McMahon
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 21 August 2019
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A banking expert witness is someone who is asked to testify at a trial in order to provide the judge and jury with information about banking and the financial industry. Banking expert witnesses may be used in civil or criminal suits. Because they are being asked to use their professional experience and opinion on the stand, these witnesses are usually provided with extra compensation for their services. The opposing counsel may ask the witness how much she or he has been paid on the stand and usually this is done to undermine the credibility of the testimony.

In order to serve as an expert witness, someone needs to have professional credentials which make him or her an especially reliable and credible witness. In the case of a banking expert witness, the witness is often someone with years of experience in the banking industry. College and university professors and consultants can also be asked to serve as witnesses, as can people like forensic accountants who specialize in monitoring banking practices. Likewise, people who work for regulatory agencies which oversee banks can testify about matters of finance.


Either side in a case can call a banking expert witness if the witness will have testimony which is relevant to the case. Sometimes an opposing witness may be called with the specific goal of discrediting a prior witness. Because credentials are often tested on the stand, when lawyers solicit an expert witness, they take care to seek out a banking expert witness with publication credits and other credentials which will speak to experience, expertise, and reliability.

One situation in which a banking expert witness may be called is a case in which there is a dispute over banking or financial practices. The witness can discuss industry standard practices and how closely these practices were followed in the given situation, and can also provide more general information about how banking works. The banking expert witness may also be asked to provide opinions on the case and the people involved for the benefit of the jury.

The side which calls the witness has an opportunity to ask questions first. Once this questioning is concluded, the opposing counsel is offered an opportunity to cross examine. Finally, the original counsel may redirect. Redirection is often done if counsel wants to stress or repeat a point, or if there is a concern that evidence was muddled and obscured during the cross examination.



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