Karen Leiter


Karen Leiter is a Principal with CLA.  She works with banks and credit unions nationwide, managing regulatory compliance engagements and other consulting services.  Karen joined the Financial Services Group at CLA in 2020 after working in financial institutions since 2004. She has spent the majority of that time focused on regulatory compliance, Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) compliance and bank operations. Karen has spent her career working at a mortgage broker, local community bank and a larger regional bank. 

During her time working in financial institutions Karen has personally worked with a manual BSA program, Patriot Officer, Abrigo (BAM ) and Verafin during her banking career.  Karen focuses on regulatory compliance, BSA, compliance management systems and special projects, such as compliance risk assessments and BSA assessments. 

Technical experience

  • Regulatory compliance
  • Compliance management system implementation and assessment
  • Exam management and regulatory relations
  • Risk assessment/management – enterprise, targeted and compliance-focused
  • BSA program development, consulting, and audit
  • Expertise in workflows relating CTR processing for large volumes
  • Created Enhanced Due Diligence (EDD) workflows and evolved them as the risk profile changed
  • Identify opportunities to obtain items needed for compliance with BSA regulations while still maintaining efficiencies in day-to-day branch operations
  • Stratify BSA risk to work efficiently and within the regulations
  • Third party risk management program development and assessment
  • Regulatory compliance training
  • Project management
  • Process development and improvement



  • Certificate of Leadership from the University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • Graduate School of Banking Certificate – Madison, Wisconsin
  • Bachelor of arts in finance and economics from the University of St Thomas, St. Paul, Minnesota
  • Certified Regulatory Compliance Manager (CRCM)
  • Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialist (CAMS)
  • Certified BSA/AML Professional (CBAP)

In the community

  • United States Naval Sea Cadet Corps - Twin Cities Squadron