Tuesday, 6 December 2011

PRISM and Central Bank of Ireland - ORSA come early?

Towards the end of last week, Matthew Elderfield launched the Probability Risk and Impact SysteM (PRISM, summary here and detail here), which aims to usher in a new age of supervisory challenge to the Irish financial sector, well documented as having had an easy time of it before credit started to get crunchy.

One big challenge for the CBoI will be to get everything up and running before June 2012 (hopefully the recruitment drive wasas good for quality as it seemingly was for quantity!), so all the best to them for that. More pointedly, the acknowledgement that the ramping up of staff numbers will start to be felt in the industry levies asap, coupled with future income streams referenced in their planned aggresive enforcement and fining of non-compliant firms must have any of the stragglers still living in 2006 quaking in their boots.

Very interesting to see the take on Risk Appetite, Risk Tolerance, Risk Assessment Criteria etc applied by a regulator to its industry, rather than my normal vantage point of a risk consultant, either advising on or benchmarking the same facets of individual ERM frameworks within an insurance undertaking. I would have thought the way in which these things are described in Mr. Elderfield's speech should be good guidance for corporate governance code adherence over there (let's face it, it doesn't get better than from the horse's mouth!).

One thing that would make me very uncomfortable as an Insurance consultant is the extent of the crossover between ORSA, QRTs, SFCR and RSR and what is being proposed under PRISM. I would not be keen on, for example, defining 'Risk Profile' for my client in line with Solvency II definitions, only to be contradicted by the regulator's PRISM definition of 'Risk Profile', which is overall solvency needs by any other name.

If I get some spare time, I may run a cross-check between ORSA and PRISM obligations, and work out whether the CBoI is trying to tell the insurance industry how to do an ORSA via subliminal messages - for the life of me, I can't quite work out what this does for the industry that an ORSA run with "appropriate" frequency doesn't.

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