It is common for prosecutors and defense attorneys to hire expert witnesses for trials. Whether civil or criminal, a banking expert who testifies for a case offers expanded information that may help prove one side and disprove another.

There are qualifications, however, to becoming this type of expert. With the right education, practical experience and a solid reputation among peers, you could use your knowledge to strengthen or weaken a case.

Education Requirements

Becoming an adept witness for issues surrounding the banking industry goes beyond simply interacting with the institution for personal reasons. Generally, you have made a career in this industry as a bank manager or senior executive.

To reach this level, you should start with getting a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university. The field of study is usually in economics, business, banking and finance, or a similar major.

This level of education is a foot in the door to gainful employment where your book knowledge grows with work experience. Promotions to higher positions will most likely require a master’s or doctorate degree. More education will certainly make you more marketable as an expert.

Get Real World Experience

Once you complete your education, the next step is to find employment in the banking industry. You may start at a bank branch as a manager or an assistant manager. Ideally, you want to work your way up to president, CEO or vice president level.

Courts usually determine on a case-by-case basis who qualifies as an expert. Therefore, you might qualify if you are a branch manager in one case, but will need to hold a senior executive position to testify in another case.

As a rule, the court looks at your educational background, experience and employment history. Other information may also support your being able to testify.

Put Your Expertise to Use

There are a number of reasons that you might be called to testify, whether it is for the prosecution or defense side. With a civil trial, your expertise could be needed to explain loan procedures or common banking policies. You may also need to explain a transaction history of an account during a divorce proceeding.

For a criminal trial, you might need to testify for the prosecution about transactions related to money laundering or other criminal charges.

The financial services industry is constantly changing and evolving. Staying current with regulations and policies will give you an advantage to continue offering your proficient knowledge to the legal world.