Financial Services

Category: Collaborative Objective Test & Team Performance (Role Play)
Type: Individual or Team


Two (2) parts: an objective test and interactive role play or presentation. A 60-minute objective test will be administered onsite at the NLC. Team competitors will take one (1) objective test collaboratively.

Objective Test Competencies: Concepts and Practices; Government Regulations; Basic Terminology; Impact of Technology on Services; Types and Differences Between the Various Types of Institutions; Ethics; Taxation; Careers in Financial Services

Case: An interactive role play situation that may include ethics, government regulations, types of institutions, technology, etc.

Skills: Understanding how different types of financial services institutions work is important to successful business ownership and management. This event provides recognition for PBL members who can demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the skills necessary in the general operations of various components of the financial services industry.


Collaborative Objective Test & Team Performance (Role Play)

Performance Guidelines—Final Round

  • Two (2) 4"x6" note cards will be provided to each competitor and may be used during event preparation and performance. Information may be written on both sides of the note cards. Note cards will be collected following the presentation.
  • No additional reference materials allowed.
  • Turn off all electronic devices.
  • Individuals/teams should introduce themselves, describe the situation, make their recommendations, and summarize their cases.
  • If participating as a team, all team members are expected to actively participate in the performance.
  • All questions raised in the case must be addressed during the presentation.
  • Objective test scores will be used to break a tie.
  • Financial calculators may be used for accounting, finance, and analysis & decision making events; calculators will be provided for all other events.
  • Final performances are not open to conference attendees.

Penalty Points Deducted by Judges

  • Five (5) points are deducted if competitors do not follow the dress code.
  • Five (5) points may be deducted for not following guidelines.
General Performance/Demonstration

Performance Guidelines

Fifteen (15) competitors/teams—or an equal number from each section in the preliminary round—will advance to the final round. When there are more than five preliminary sections for an event, two competitors/ teams from each section will advance to the final round.

In the case of team events, all team competitors are expected to actively participate in the performance/demonstration.

Competitors cannot be replaced or substituted after the name change deadline of 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on the first Friday in June.

All competitors must comply with the FBLA‑PBL dress code.

Prejudged materials and résumés will not be returned.

Technology Guidelines

  • Internet access will be provided for:
    • Computer Animation
    • Forensic Accounting
    • Global Analysis & Decision Making
    • Network Design
    • Social Media Challenge
    • Website Design
  • Internet access may not be WiFi, so competitors should plan appropriately when selecting laptops/tablets on which to present.
  • All competitors in accounting, finance, and analysis & decision making events may bring and use financial calculators.

Performance Competencies

  • Demonstrate excellent verbal communication.
  • Display effective decision-making and problem-solving skills.
  • Express self-confidence and poise.
  • Work well as a team when applicable.
  • Exhibit logic and systematic understanding.
  • Conduct a professional business presentation.
  • Answer questions effectively (when applicable).

Penalty Points Deducted by Judges

  • Five (5) points are deducted if competitors do not follow the dress code.
  • Five (5) points may be deducted for presentations over the allotted time.
  • Five (5) points may be deducted for not following guidelines.


  • Preliminary and final performances/demonstrations are not open to conference attendees.
  • Recording performances/demonstrations is prohibited.
  • All electronic devices must be turned off.
  • All attendees must follow the dress code and wear their name badges; however, the badge may be removed when presenting.
  • All attendees are requested to remain quiet while in competitive event areas.

The general event guidelines below are applicable to all national competitive events. Please review and follow these guidelines when competing at the national level. When competing at the state level, check the state guidelines since they may differ.


  • Dues: Competitors must have paid PBL national and state dues by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on April 15 of the current school year.
  • NLC Registration: Participants must be registered for the NLC and pay the national conference registration fee in order to participate in competitive events.
  • Deadlines: The state chair, or designee, must register each state competitor on the official online entry forms by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on the second Friday in May.
  • Each state may submit three (3) individuals in all events requiring only objective tests and two (2) individuals or teams for all events that require a pre-judged or performance component.
  • Each competitor can compete in two (2) events.
  • Each competitor must compete in all parts of an event for award eligibility.
  • A team shall consist of two or three members. Exceptions are Parliamentary Procedure which must be a team of four or five members, and LifeSmarts which must be a team of two members.

Repeat Competitors

Competitors are not permitted to compete in an event more than once at the NLC unless one of the following circumstances applies:

  • Modified Events: A competitor may compete in the same event when the event is modified. Note, if the only modification is a name change, competitors may not compete in the renamed event.
  • Team Events: One (1) competitor of the team may have competed in the same event at one (1) previous NLC; however, they may not compete more than twice in the event at the national level.
  • Chapter Events: Competitors may compete in a chapter event more than once (Community Service Project).
  • Individual Entry: A competitor who competed as an individual entry in a team event at the national level may compete in the same event a second time as part of a team, but not a second time as an individual.
  • Parliamentary Procedure: Two (2) competitors of the team may have competed in this event at a previous NLC; however, they may not compete more than twice at the national level.
  • Pilot Event: Competition in a pilot event does not disqualify a competitor from competing in the same event if it becomes an official competitive event. The participant may compete in another event as well as a pilot event.

Breaking Ties

  • Objective Tests: Ties are broken by comparing the correct number of answers to the last 10 questions on the exam. If a tie remains, the competitor who completed the test in a shorter amount of time will place higher. If this does not break the tie, answers to the last 20 questions will be reviewed and determine the winner.
  • Objective and Production Tests: The production test scores will be used to break a tie.
  • Objective Tests and Performances: The objective test score will be used to break a tie based on the tie-breaking criteria of objective tests.
  • Reports/Projects and Performances: The report/project scores will be used to break a tie.
  • Performances: Judges must break ties and all judges’ decisions are final.

National Deadlines

  • State chair/adviser must register all competitors for NLC competitive events online by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on the second Friday in May.
  • All prejudged components (report PDFs, resume/letter of application PDFs, and project URLs) must be received by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on the second Friday in May.
  • All URLs and PDFs for prejudged projects and reports will be submitted by the state adviser via the competitive events registration form.
  • All production tests must be received at FBLA-PBL by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on the third Friday in May.
  • Desktop Publishing—the finished product must be uploaded in PDF format by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on the third Friday in May. Label all documents with the event title, competitor’s name, state, and school.
  • All production tests must be uploaded online.
  • State chair/adviser may make name changes only (no additional entries) by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on the first Friday in June. Competitor drops are the only changes allowed after this date and onsite.

National Awards

The number of competitors will determine the number of winners. The maximum number of winners for each competitive event is 10. Only one (1) award is given to the schools competing in chapter events (Community Service Project and Local Chapter Annual Business Report).

Additional Materials

  • Financial calculators may be brought to objective testing and used for any accounting, finance, or analysis & decision making events.
  • Certain events may allow the use of additional materials. Please refer to event guidelines.

Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)

FBLA‑PBL meets the criteria specified in the Americans with Disabilities Act for all participants who submit a special needs form.

Recording of Presentations

No unauthorized audio or video recording devices will be allowed in any competitive event. Participants in the performance events should be aware the national association reserves the right to record any performance for use in study or training materials.

Graduate Students

Graduate students may compete in all PBL events.


General Competitive Events Tips
Event Tips
Sample Practice Materials
    Video #1

Rating Sheet

Format Guide

Website Resources
Concepts and Practices
1. Describe the role of the Federal Reserve and how interest rates affect the economy
2. Describe the loan process.
3. Explain various interest rate theories and understand how to forecast interest rates.
4. Demonstrate an understanding of the theory of cash balancing, how to locate cash differences, lock-up procedures, performance standards, and honest and ethical cash balancing and cash handling.
5. Demonstrate an understanding of general banking knowledge, ability to use resources to resolve problems, statement reconciliation, ordering special documents, and identify debits and credits.
6. Identify and compare different kinds of savings and investment accounts and describe the relationship between buyer and seller in the marketplace.
7. Demonstrate an understanding of negotiable instruments and identify the terms of negotiability.
8. Summarize the monetary system of the United States.
9. Define loan amortization and describe how it is calculated.
10. Describe bank security programs that minimize chance for loss.
11. Discuss real estate lending and servicing.
12. Explain business bank products and services.
13. Examine the fundamental workings of the Social Security System and the system’s effects on retirement planning and investments.
14. Contrast alternative retirement plans.
15. Explain securities and investments products and their benefits.
16. Describe functions of money (e.g., medium of exchange, unit of measure, and store of value).
17. Explain the purposes and importance of credit
18. Explain legal responsibilities associated with financial exchanges.
19. Describe the nature of budgets.
20. Describe the nature of cost/benefit analysis.
21. Determine relationships among total revenue, marginal revenue, output, and profit.
22. Interpret financial statements and spot problems/issues with financial statements.
23. Describe types of financial statement analysis (e.g., ratio analysis and trend analysis)
24. Explain types of financial markets (e.g.., money markets, securities markets, property market, and market for risk transfer).
25. Discuss factors that affect the value of an asset (e.g., cash flows, growth rate, timing, inflation, interest rate, opportunity cost, risk, and required return).
Government Regulations
1. Describe the structure of the Federal Reserve System.
2. Explain the functions of the Federal Reserve System, specifically in conducting monetary policy, supervising banks and providing financial services.
3. Compare and contrast actions of the Federal Open Market Committee and their outcomes on interest rates.
4. Describe the Fair Credit Reporting Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act and their application to financial institutions.
5. Describe the Bank Secrecy Act, Office of Foreign Asset Control, the USA PATRIOT Act, Reserve Requirements of Depository Institutions, Regulation CC, Regulation D and the Electronic Funds Transfer Act, and Regulation E.
6. Discuss the impact of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission Division of Corporation Finance on business finance.
7. Discuss corporate governance issues in business finance.
8. Discuss e-compliance issues and regulations in banking services.
9. Discuss federal regulation of lending functions.
10. Discuss federal regulation of operations functions in banking services.
11. Discuss the responsibilities of regulatory agencies that oversee the banking industry.
12. Describe the process for implementing regulatory changes.
13. Describe provisions of bankruptcy law.
14. Discuss functional areas of a compliance audit
15. Explain the role of the National Association of Securities Dealers (NASD) in the regulation of securities and investments.
16. Describe the nature of the Securities Investor Protection Corporation.
17. Explain federal legislation impacting the finance industry (e.g., Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, Sarbanes-Oxley Act, and Uniform Commercial Code).
Basic Terminology
1. Explain the features of Certificates of Deposit, Banker’s Acceptance Commercial Paper, Fed Funds, Treasury Bills, and Repurchase Agreements.
2. Demonstrate a knowledge and understanding of the most common industry vocabulary regulation words: DD - Truth in Savings; CC – Checks and holds; E – Electronic Funds.
3. Define finance and financial functions in our economy.
4. List the pros and cons of leasing.
5. Describe the standard and unique features of the following securities: bills, notes, bonds, zeros, and muni’s.
6. Define time value of money: future value, present value, and annuities.
7. Describe the concept of the time value of money.
8. Distinguish between real and nominal interest rate.
9. Compare the impact of simple interest versus compound interest on savings.
10. Explain forms of financial exchange (e.g., cash, credit, debit, electronic funds, and transfer).
11. Identify types of currency (e.g., paper money, coins, banknotes, government bonds, and treasury notes).
Impact of Technology on Services
1. Discuss the impact of technology on the banking industry.
2. Describe the use of technology in operations.
3. Describe the use of technology in compliance.
4. Demonstrate data mining techniques.
5. Demonstrate advanced database applications.
6. Describe the use of technology in the financial information management function.
7. Process numeric data using computer.
Types and Differences Between the Various Types of Institutions
1. Describe the role of financial institutions.
2. Distinguish between different types of financial institutions.
3. Describe how financial institutions manage their liquidity by participating in money markets.
4. Identify the organizational structures in banking and other financial institutions.
5. Examine the development of financial institutions and intermediaries in our society.
6. Examine the structure and operation of the banking system in the United States..
7. Explain the role of central banks.
8. Discuss the role of credit unions.
9. Explain the role of savings and loan associations.
10. Discuss the role of the World Bank Group in international financial assistance.
11. Explain the nature of government agencies that provide financing to businesses (e.g., Export-Import Bank of the United States and Small Business Administration).
12. Discuss considerations in selecting a financial service provider.
1. Discuss business ethics for business finance.
2. Discuss corporate responsibility issues in business finance.
3. Describe the nature of the Chartered Financial Analysts (CFA) Institute Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct..
4. Explain the role of ethics in customer relationship management.
5. Respect the privacy of others.
6. Explain ethical considerations in providing information.
7. Protect confidential information.
8. Determine information appropriate to obtain from a client or another employee.
9. Demonstrate responsible behavior and ethical work habits.
10. Demonstrate honesty and integrity.
11. Explain the importance of ethical business decisions.
12. Identify legal liability issues that financial employees face and the impact that such issues have on professional ethics.
1. Explain the nature of business taxation.
2. Discuss taxation issues that impact securities and investment.
3. Discuss the effect of tax laws and regulations on financial transactions.
4. Compare the taxation of individuals and corporations.
5. Identify fundamental considerations involved in tax planning and research tax laws and resources.
6. Discuss the tax rules and reporting process for corporations.
7. Describe the role that earnings and profits play in determining the tax treatment of distributions and dividends for shareholders.
8. Identify, account for, and report properly capital gains and losses.
Careers in Financial Services
1. Describe the role and responsibilities of bank and other financial institution employees.
2. Discuss and justify the interpersonal skills that bank employees need to be successful.
3. Describe essential knowledge and skills needed to be employed in the insurance industry.
4. Describe insurance licensing and certification programs.
5. Explain the role and responsibilities of financial managers, financial analyst, controller, risk manager, treasure, and chief financial officer.


PBL Program of Study
Accounting & Finance


States may submit up to 2 entries.
Competitors must be registered for NLC and pay registration fee.
Competitors must pay dues by 11:59 p.m. Eastern on April 15.


The top fifteen (15) scoring individuals/teams advance to the final round.


Test: 1 hour
Prep: 20 min
Equipment Setup: N/A
Performance: 7 min
Warning: 6 min
Time Up: 7 min
Penalty Over Time: N/A
Q & A: N/A