SVP, Chief Risk Officer, Montecito Bank & Trust
Laurel Sykes joined Montecito Bank & Trust as their Chief Risk Officer in 2009. In this role, she is responsible for consumer compliance, Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) /Anti-Money Laundering (AML), fraud prevention, information security, vendor management, business continuity planning, and overall enterprise risk management and regulatory affairs. She is the Bank’s Community Reinvestment Act Officer and she shares the role of Board-appointed Information Security Officer. Sykes has more than 27 years of experience in financial services and risk management. After working briefly at Wells Fargo, she joined Santa Barbara Bank & Trust while attending the University of California at Santa Barbara and moved into the bank’s risk management function in 1997 building out compliance programs for the small business, mortgage and consumer lending divisions, and implementing an enterprise AML program to address increasing regulatory scrutiny in a post-9/11 environment. She attained the designation of Certified Regulatory Compliance Manager in 2004 and was appointed Regulatory Affairs Director in 2008, shortly after the first few bank failures and increasing enforcement actions throughout the state of California turned up the heat on bank regulatory examinations. Sykes develops and teaches financial literacy classes, including elder financial abuse and cybersecurity awareness programs. She is also on the boards of several local non-profits that provide youth/family services and affordable housing for lower-income families.