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Deborah E. Arndell

Deborah has been in the banking and financial services industry since 1998. That time includes more than a decade inside the industry itself in a number of roles working for an array of firms of varying asset sizes. She left the industry in 2008 and entered the consulting arena to get a broader perspective of how other firms managed their compliance and operations. In 2010, having been offered an opportunity to merge her industry expertise with her consulting experience, she accepted a role in supervision at the prestigious Federal Reserve Bank of New York (FRBNY). During her six year tenure at the FRBNY, she held the responsibilities of Senior Examiner, Supervising Examiner and Manager before she was promoted into the elite Officer corps in 2014. In late 2016, she decided to leave the FRBNY to create something tailored specifically to her passions, ARMOR Advisory Services. Her first consulting job from May 2017 to December 2017 resulted in an offer to come on board as the EVP/Chief Risk Officer of the bank to help them ensure they were prepared for an acquisition. 


Taking more than 20 years of experience and knowledge and combining them with her leadership abilities, strategic thinking and powerful communication skills, she launched this advisory firm. Her desire is to take the best of what she has learned and allow others to benefit from it; to take the headaches she had while in the industry, add in the do's and do not's she learned while in consulting, sift all of that through the light and dark sides of supervision and deliver a valuable partner back to the industry. Her highest purpose is to be a resource for a very limited clientele in the form of thoughtful and meaningful risk management insight and oversight.

Deborah understands both broad risk management principles and risk-based execution as well as the nuances of day-to-day compliance and operations. As a regulator, she believed in being fair and reasonable and knows how to make Compliance Risk Management Programs (CRMP) and Compliance Management Systems (CMS) operate with the greatest efficiency and effectiveness without tripping over regulatory limitations. She believes that with strong communication and consistent, detailed documentation, nothing is out of reach - anything is attainable.


In her roles, she has been regulated by the FDIC, the OCC, the OTS and FINRA and has had working relationships with the NCUA, FDIC, the OCC, the CFPB, the IRS, FinCEN and various State agencies and law enforcement groups.


She was CAMS certified in 2007 and completed both the ABA Graduate and Undergraduate Compliance Schools in 2007. She received her Juris Doctorate in 2004. While in law school, she was certified in arbitration, mediation and negotiation.

Industry Experience

Key roles included, for firms with assets sizes ranging from $150M to $89B:

  • Loss Prevention Manager and Compliance Specialist for a bank with hundreds of branches across 8 states;

  • complex investigations into financial crimes, insider fraud, federal crimes

  • BSA/AML/OFAC Officer, Chief Compliance Officer and VP Operations at a community bank in Atlanta and a large financial planning services firm in NY and MN with 21,000 financial advisors across the U.S. and 101 subsidiaries; 

  • CRA and Privacy Officer; and

  • EVP/Chief Risk Officer with oversight of Vendor Management, Litigation, Insurance, IT/IS/Cybersecurity, BSA/AML, Compliance and Fraud.

Unique experiences at those firms:

  • built a Compliance Department and BSA Department for a complex, virtual de novo bank from the ground up;

  • hired by a BOD to enhance and strengthen Compliance/BSA/AML/OFAC/Operations practices at a brick and mortar bank with a predominantly foreign clientele;

  • worked with a federal defender on a serial killer second suspect investigation;

  • have worked with the US Postal Investigators, local law enforcement, local banks, and the IRS Investigations area on financial crimes, crimes against persons (including murder), and fraud rings all tied to account, account holder or bank operations activity; and

  • shook hands with Justice Sandra Day O'Connor.

Consulting Experience

As the Compliance Manager for Crowe Horwath's Northeast Region, conducted:

  • BSA/AML/OFAC and consumer protection internal audits at community banks, regional banks and large banks  in NYC, NYS, NJ, PA and CT.

  • BSA/AML/OFAC and consumer protection internal audits at community banks, regional banks, large banks and credit unions in OH, PA, IL, FL;

  • longer term commercial loan review at a large bank in NC; and

  • longer term AML and Fraud Investigations projects.

As President of ARMOR has:

  • completed 4  and 5 Year BSA/AML Lookbacks;

  • hired to investigate, strategize, and rebuild a firm following the largest conservatorship in NCUA history;

  • acted as Chief Compliance, Chief Risk and Enterprise Risk Officers;

  • assisted with program strengthening within risk, compliance and operations to allow a bank to successfully go through M&A activity;

  • hired by a State Attorney General to investigate COVID benefits and federal/state benefits fraud;

  • created robust BSA/AML, compliance and operational risk assessments; and

  • helped rebuild BSA/AML/OFAC Programs.

Supervisory Experience

While at the FRBNY was:


  • a Senior Examiner from January 2011 to January 2014;

  • a Supervising Examiner from January 2014 to February 2014;

  • a Manager from February 2014 to April 2014; 

  • Interim Consumer Protection Department Head April 2014 to October 2014: 

  • Consumer Protection Department Head October 2014 to November 2016; and

  • obtained Officer status July 2015.


As Consumer Protection Department Head and Officer:

  • responsible for consumer protection oversight of 150+ firms in NY, NJ, CT and Puerto Rico ranging in asset size from $20M to $4T, including community banks (CBOs), regional banks (RBOs), small and large foreign banks (SFBOs and LFBOs), large banks (LBOs) and systemically important financial institutions (SIFIs);

  • managed a staff of 20+ Managers, Supervising, Senior and Assistant Examiners; 

  • member of the Federal Reserve Board of Governors' Consumer Compliance Management Group; and

  • member of the FRBNY Supervision Group's Senior Leadership Team.

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