How Will New Financial Risk Regulations Affect European Banks?

Author: Amanda Fridlund
Posting date: 8/8/2019 8:46 AM
The financial crisis of 2007-2008 changed banking. The world moved from taking mortgage loans in our dogs’ names to introducing strict regulations for banks prohibiting them from giving out loans to “anyone” without assessing Risk properly. In 2010 the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision (BCBS) introduced BASEL III, a regulatory framework that builds on BASEL I, and BASEL II. This framework changed how banks and financial institutions asses risk. It introduced an Advanced Internal Rate Based Approach (Commonly known as the AIRB approach). 

Now, the committee has introduced new changes and, by 2022, all banks and institutions will have to implement the revised IRB Framework, as well as new revised regulations for the standardised approach, CVA Framework and new frameworks for Operational Risk and Market Risk. So, what does this mean for those working Risk?

Change Is Coming


Change is inevitable, no matter what you do. If you work in Risk Management and Compliance, change is something you can expect to happen, often. As mentioned above, by 2022 there will be lots of changes. The Basel Committee calls this initiative the “finalised reforms”, or BASEL IV which builds on the current regulatory framework BASEL III. Quickly summarised, the changes limit the reduction in capital that effect banks IRB models. 

This change is predicted to impact banks in Sweden and Denmark the most, with estimations that capital ratio will fall by 2.5-3%, far higher than the 0.9% expected for the average European bank. 

So what does all this mean for Swedish and Danish banks? 

What’s Happening Now?


One of the main things that Swedish and Danish banks need to revise for these new regulations, are their internal models. The new regulations introduced a new definition of Probability of Default, measured through a model commonly known as a PD model. Effectively this means that every bank must “re-develop” their internal PD Models in the IRB approach. Consequently, we are already seeing a clear response from the banks in their strategies moving forward.

It has already become quite apparent that many banks are looking to make IRB model development their focus for 2019-2020 and 2021. This has resulted in a boom in the hiring space for developers with experience in IRB Modelling and Credit Risk Modelling in general, which in turn has led to high demand in the face of the low supply of these types of candidates. Understandably aware of this, modellers are now looking to negotiate higher salaries. 

What You Can Do 


For candidates that hold the right experience, there are good opportunities at hand. If so inclined, they can utilise this chance to finally see if the grass actually is greener on the other side, or not. However, there are a couple of things worth considering before making a move.  

Firstly, are you actually keen on switching jobs? Your skills are probably equally in demand at your current employer and, if you are having doubts about moving from the get-go, you may well be able to negotiate a rise without pursuing a new opportunity. However, if you are serious about finding something new, this is a great time to do so. The majority of banks have found that these new regulations are creating an unsustainable workload,  and are now looking for talent externally to expand their teams. This means that the experienced modeller can pretty much have their pick of the litter. 

Furthermore, if you are a junior modeller, there are now plenty of opportunities for you to enter a niche area known for being exciting and innovative. So, wherever you are in your career, these regulatory changes  are likely to have a large impact and open up new avenues for you to explore.  

We all know that regulations in banking and finance are now essential, we all agree, even if they can be a little frustrating. However, what people often fail to think of are the opportunities new regulatory requirements create. In the case of BASEL IV, we’re already seeing an increase in demand for strong talent, and a demand for people who are passionate about Risk Management and model development. 

For businesses, new regulations also provide the chance to not only improve their teams, but to  create new models that can be utilised to optimise and automate. A lot of financial institutions are already aware of this and are using these models to gain competitive advantage over their competitors, as well as to stay one hundred percent compliant. 

If you’re looking to build out you Risk Management team or take on a new Risk opportunity for yourself, we may be able to help. Take a look at our latest opportunities or get in touch with one of our expert consultants to find out more. 

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Risk Analytics & Your Job Search

Risk Analysis is a daily part of our decision-making process. Its influences are felt in how we prioritise projects. Hello, project management. It determines when we take breaks. And in the working from home or remote working culture, lines between personal and professional life are soon blurred. Our decision-making ratchets through microanalyses of next steps, words to use, when to log off the computer, and what time to make lunch or dinner. Almost without realising it, we're using the SWOT matrix determine risk. That's just in our personal day-to-day lives. Organisations have been using these strategic planning techniques as a daily part of their enterprise lives. So, imagine this. You determine your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (SWOT) to write your CV, land the interview, and get the job. Aren't you already on your way to helping your company determine their risk on a bigger scale?  Isn't Risk Analysis the Same as SWOT? Not exactly. While you are identifying, measuring, and analysing issues, the idea is to avoid or lessen risk. In the movie War Games, the main character decides he's going to play a game. But, neither the computer nor the main character understands the game is not a game. They have no idea what risk they've unleashed as keystrokes begin to lead to war.  Militaries use Risk Analysis regularly to determine if war should begin, estimated casualties and cost just for a start. But, in the end, it's usually decided peace keeps the world away from war after all the risk has been analysed. Though most businesses and individuals don't have the risk of war at their doorstep, there are extenuating circumstances which must be determined to avoid risk. This can be anything from natural disasters to legislation to physical requirements and locations. The SWOT technique is a tool within strategic planning as are Risk Analytics. Let's take a look at the benefits of Risk Analysis.  It can help your business improve security, manage costs, and plan for any surprises. Whether it helps you in your job search or manage your business once you're hired, a combination of SWOT and Risk Analytics can help your decision-making process shine. Done well, Risk Analysis is an important tool for managing costs associated with risks, as well as for aiding an organisation's decision-making process. SWOT your way to a Successful Job Search So, first, let's take a look at what SWOT is and isn't. This type of analysis is a tool most often found in strategic planning for organisations. But, it's not the only tool when assessing risk. Like any data profession, you'll want to gather, collect, and analyse the information before you. And when it comes to the job search, knowing yourself and your self-awareness levels may play a bigger part than you imagine. Skipping ahead to the interview from your 'foot in the door' CV and cover letter both delivered via video, of course, you begin to plan for your interview. "What are your biggest strengths and weaknesses?" your hiring manager asks. You've come well-prepared for this question because you've done your SWOT analysis. From the moment you decided your areas of expertise, your roles in organisations, and any areas you know you need to improve but can turn into a positive. You've pre-assessed your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities or obstacles, and threats. Strengths – What characteristics do you possess which gives you an advantage over your competition? Have you cross-trained across a variety of departments? Do you have a knack for telling a compelling data narrative story to help make leadership make an informed decision? Weaknesses – Where could you use more training? Are you looking for a business that offers it in-house or do you need a certification or class to give you a leg up over your competition? What puts you at a disadvantage and how would find a work around? What can you do to improve? Opportunities or Obstacles – Has your experience taught you a new way of doing things within the industry? Does your experience extend from working alone to strong member of a team? Was the team in-house or scattered around the world? How did it affect your working style and what did you learn from it? Threats – Threats may seem at odds with a job search, but…that was then. This is now. Threats are simply external forces which cause trouble in your planning. In other words, this is your risk assessment. What risks are involved and of those risks which will have less effect and which will have more on your desired outcome? Performing this technique in your personal and professional life helps you peel back the layers of you. What has your education prepared you for? Your work experience? The projects you've chosen or been assigned to? It's all leading somewhere, right? This is where you match your strengths to opportunities. Hello, dream job. If you're looking for your next role in the Data & Analytics, we may have a job for you. Take a look at our current opportunities or get in touch with one of our expert consultants to learn more.  

Why Businesses Need To Put Fraud Prevention Front And Centre

If Fraudsters are anything, they are opportunists. Once the first new stories about COVID-19 started running, it wasn’t long until they were joined by tales of fraudsters selling face masks and hand sanitiser, asking panicked customers to transfer money and then disappearing without a trace.  And it’s not the first time we’ve seen this. Fraudsters are notoriously wise to periods of heightened sensitivity and uncertainty, often preying on the vulnerable. The 2008 financial crisis saw an increase in email-based phishing scams and a decade’s worth of technological advancements means that Fraud remains a many-headed beast.  Add into the mix a change in working styles and environments, and many businesses are more exposed to potential security breaches than they have been in years. Now, more than ever, companies need to make sure their Data is well protected and secure. THE FIRST LINE OF DEFENCE If you’re part of, or leading, a Fraud Prevention team, there are a number of ways you can support your business and keep on top of the situation. Here are just a few: Increase and update your investigation capacity. This team are the front line of your business’ Fraud defence team, interacting with customers daily and spotting new scams. During an uncertain period, retention and team stability is key. These are the people that understand the day-to-day Fraud challenges you face and will be essential in fighting any future challenges.  Sharing Fraud Prevention knowledge is key. Throughout this crisis, trends will be evolving quickly and working collaboratively across teams, and even other businesses, is the best way to combat this. We consistently hear from Fraud Managers that the key to beating Fraud is to share information and knowledge. Despite this, there is always a hesitation amongst companies to admit that they have been a victim to an attack. Perhaps now is the time to change this. Invest in Machine Learning and real time updates for your Fraud defences. Fraud technology has moved on from script writing in SQL and rule changes. Businesses need a real time reactive response and now is an important time to be embracing new technologies. There are a number AI-driven off the shelf packages available or, for a more bespoke solution, a Fraud Data Scientist can create something internally. Educate your team. It may seem simple, but the Fraud team can play a crucial role in minimising any potential risk from human-error. Educating employees on the risks they may face when working remotely, or what scams they need to look out for, is one of the most effective ways of fighting Fraud.  PREPARING YOUR BUSINESS Success in the fight against Fraud isn’t purely down to the group of individuals that make up the Fraud team. As a business, now is the time to be making decisions that can help you stay ahead of the Fraudsters. Here are some considerations: Consider investing in tech as an your immediate response. Not just to bolster your Fraud defences (although there are plenty of vendors offering AI-based solutions), but also technology for your employees to keep work as normal as possible such a sharing platforms, DevOps technology and video calling networks. One of the best ways to block some of the vulnerability loopholes fraudsters are trying to exploit is to keep working habits as close to normal as possible as you move to a remote solution. Be transparent with your customers. Consumers are being incredibly savvy and noting how businesses respond to the pandemic in a way that could have a big impact when normality returns. But they’re also being more empathetic and are willing to understand difficulties. For example, shopping delivery service Ocado were open and transparent when their system could not initially deal with demand. Having communicated the difficulties, worked through their issues and gone the extra mile to let customers know how they can be supported in this time, the received minimal backlash. There is an understanding that we’re all in this together. Finally, if you have the budget, continue to staff up - particularly in competitive fields such as Data Science. A lot of top Data professionals are currently at home and much more accessible than they have been in a long time. With a number of ways to remotely interview and onboard both permanent and contract staff, if you are able to get begin conversations with them now, you’ll have an edge in what will be a very competitive market come later in the year.  If you’re looking to take your next step in the world of Fraud, we may have a role for you, including a number of remote opportunities.  Or, if you’re looking to expand and build out your Fraud team, get in touch with one of expert consultants who will be able to advise on the best remote and long-term processes. 

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