Both civil and criminal trials make use of expert witnesses on a regular basis in most jurisdictions. An expert witness in the area of banking could be required to testify in either a civil or criminal case. The qualifications needed to become a banking expert witness may vary from one jurisdictions to another; however, in the United States, a banking expert witness must be educated in the field, have extensive practical experience, and have formed a reputation among his or her peers as an expert.
A banking expert may be called to testify for any number of reasons. In a civil trial, a banking expert may be needed to testify regarding common banking policies or specific loan procedures for example. He or she may also be needed to testify regarding a specific bank account and the transaction history of the account in a divorce. In a criminal trial, a banking expert may be needed to testify regarding transactions that could be the basis for a money-laundering scheme, among other potential criminal charges.
Bank managers and senior officials generally have at least a bachelor's degree in banking and finance, economics, business, or a related major. In order to become a banking expert witness, an individual must first obtain the education to gain employment in the upper echelons of the banking industry. While a bachelor's degree is likely required, a master's or doctorate degree may be necessary and is certainly recommended.
Once an individual who plans to become a banking expert witness has completed his or her education, employment in the banking industry is the next step. Most banks have a number of branches which all have assistant managers and managers. A banking expert should have work experience at least at the level of a branch manager. Ideally, a person who aspires to become a banking expert witness should have experience at the corporate level as a vice-president, president, CEO, or other similar position.
In the United States, individual courts determine who qualifies as an expert witness on a case-by-case basis absent an agreement by the parties to the case. As a rule, the court will consider the potential witness' educational background, employment history and experience, as well as any additional information that would lead the court to conclude that he or she is considered an expert in the field by his or her peers. If the court is satisfied that the person is an expert, then he or she may testify as an expert.