Monday, 20 August 2012

Operational Risk - Scenario analysis and best practice

Short and sweet - couple of interesting papers in the Op Risk space which should help anyone working on operational risk scenarios or indeed brushing up on best practices.

Milliman start off with this scene setter on approaches being adopted in order to bypass the rather broad brush (and I suspect in some cases, financially onerous) standard formula approach to calculating the Op Risk SCR element. They of course touch on the old-but-legitimate complaint around imput data quality if one wants to model their capital requirement rather than sketch it on the back of EIOPA's fag packet.

While they take the opportunity to applaud the efforts of those creating a database of scenarios, or indeed using the ORIC database, they ultimately come down on the Bayesian side of the debate, which I suspect is a touch too rich for most people's blood, but those of us with deep pockets (and large Op Risk SCR totals!) may give that a stab.

The second piece came from Corven around best Op Risk practices from other industries, and how they could be adopted by the Financial Services industry. Not much of the research is actually published yet (and the main meat of their published findings is hidden behind FT's paywall), but I found it particularly interesting to see which industries were cited as areas where Financial Services could learn from.

Some good interim stats (full report to follow in October), including;
  • All respondents to date trying to tie in op risk performance with compensation
  • Regulatory hounding appears to have inspired 64% of respondents to inprove Op Risk management
  • Full root cause analysis only conducted by 38% of respondents upon a "major risk failure" - woolly words aside, that is not impressive at all.
  • Responses to major risk incidents overwhelmingly look to amend processes and systems, not the people and capabilities that inevitably led to them!
The example of air crews being compelled to point out senior staff members' inadequacies is a particularly powerful example of bottom-up op risk mitigation, though I struggle to see its application in financial services. However, it was also strange to see the Oil industry also cited as a best practitioner - the major risk events in that industry surely draw parallels with financial services at their most grasping over recent years.

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