With over 10 years experience working solely in the Data & Analytics sector our consultants are able to offer detailed insights into the industry.
Visit our Blogs & News portal or check out our recent posts below.
Ewan began his recruitment career in 2015, joining Harnham as a member of the Credit Risk team. His understanding of the market and ability to deliver service excellence to his customers has seen him progress to Managing Consultant level where he now runs the Risk Analytics team. Ewan continues to use his expertise to drive Harnham’s Risk Analytics services into new markets.
Visit our Blogs & News portal or check out our recent posts below.
Instant transfers, real-time payments, virtual banks, and digital currencies - these are just a few of the ways fintech innovation has been booming in the last few years. Around the globe, start-ups, upstarts, and non-bank payment providers have shaken up the banking status quo. New technologies, market conditions, and alternative business models fueled by global investment offer much needed change in payment systems as well as complement others already on the market. Demand for optimised payments experience in terms of speed, convenience, and multi-channel accessibility are the new ways to pay. How to pay- let me count the ways Retail and traditional banking have moved away from slow batched processing as consumer demand drives real-time payment systems. This demand has Consumers in retail banking also benefitting from the development of payment systems that run in real-time rather than via the traditional (and relatively slow) method of batched processing. This demand has in turn furthered innovation in real-time payment infrastructures. Consumers no longer require a bank or credit card to make payments, but can instead use service layers that run on top of existing real-time payment infrastructures. In our mobile world, mobile wallets are often at the forefront of thought for payment systems and with the rise of P2P payment such as Venmo, Square, and Klarna. While generally focused on the peer-to-peer (P2P), mobile capabilities are much smaller in the wholesale and corporate sectors. But, this won’t last for long. Projected smartphone growth offers banks an opportunity to adapt and consider solutions across devices to meet growing demand. An increasing number of non-bank providers are entering the payments world as well. Consider the rise of digital currencies, foreign exchange and remittances, and other P2P models which enable users to buy and sell currencies directly at an agreed rate. Real-time technological innovation reduces currency risk faced by banks and money transfer agencies, while also lowering costs associated with money transfer. Growth in e-commerce makes consumer and retail payments sector the fastest moving in terms of innovation and adoption of new payment capabilities. Renewed confidence in the financial services sector has led to a substantial rise in available jobs, particularly among risk management teams. Yet, professionals to fill these roles remain in short supply. Roll out the red carpet- these are the roles in high demand Against the U.S., Japan, and globally, the U.K. faces a skills shortage in risk functions. According to a report by Accenture, over 75 percent of organisations say a shortage of core risk management talent impedes their effectiveness. Just over 70 percent are facing a shortage in new and emerging technologies. With an eye to the future, many organisations, capital markets, and U.K. banking plan to strengthen their understanding of emerging technology risk and their data management capabilities. Roles in highest demand are those in counterparty credit risk, particularly within pricing. While more recently, graduates with quantitative backgrounds found roles in risk methodology, real-time payment structures and the role of e-commerce has created more opportunity for those who candidates who understand pricing models. Those at the first line of defence in regard to assurance, internal audit, IT controls, and cyber security fall within the scope of operational risk functions are also in demand. The role of Brexit programmes will drive risk change hires in 2018. As negotiations become clearer, other organisations are expected to follow an investment bank in Canary Wharf which has made credit risk function hires a top priority. Top challenges in risk management function Increased demand from regulators, increased velocity, volume of data, legacy technologies, and variety are the top challenges faced by U.K. banking and capital markets. To meet their needs, these organisations are focused on creating teams which blend core competencies, a deep understand of new digital capabilities, and commercial acumen. Quantitative risk professionals with experience in counterparty and market risk analysis are in high demand as well as those with a pricing model focus. Demand for regulatory and portfolio level market risk managers have also seen an uptick in demand. In order to overcome shortages, businesses are considering internal candidate pools and moving strong candidates between asset classes. Despite shortages of professionals with key skill sets within risk, employers have remained cautious. Quantitative risk roles are a notable exception, where skills shortages are most acute. We have an opportunity for a Senior Credit Risk Manager within New Product Leadership to help build a leading Financial Service’s recently purchased Consumer Finance Portfolio. Shape the entire strategy, oversee all Scorecard and Model Development, and build your own team. Interested? For additional opportunities check out our current vacancies. Contact our UK Team at 0208 408 6070 or email email@example.com to learn more.
11. January 2018
By 1 January 2018, the International Accounting Standards Board will have introduced IFRS 9 as a mandatory measurement model for financial assets. Due to this, I thought I would break down what this means for business and how it will impact recruitment trends over the next one to two years. What is IFRS 9? IFRS 9 is an International Financial Reporting Standard which is responsible for the accounting of financial instruments. It includes requirements for recognition and measurement, impairment, derecognition and general hedge accounting. Since July 2009, IFRS 9 has been implemented in various stages whereby the IASB has been adding to the standard as each stage has been completed. What were the downfalls of IAS 39? IAS 39 was first implemented by the IASB in 1984 and its predominant aim was to ensure there were rules for the reporting of the financial instruments ensuring that companies would then present them in a way which was consistent, but also transparent. However, following a G20 summit in 2009 after the financial crisis of 2008, it was decided that IAS 39 needed to be changed due to the fact there were too many exceptions and inconsistencies and the project to replace it went ahead imminently. IAS 39 was often considered to be very backward looking, meaning that it failed to give a true and fair view the financial position of a business. Perhaps more crucially was its inability to respond fast enough to the recognition of credit losses, which was evident in the financial crisis of 2008. IFRS 9 at a glance The main difference between IAS 39 and IFRS 9 is that instead of loan provisioning using an incurred loss model, they will be using an expected loss model. Despite the Financial Account Standards Board (USA) using a single measurement model, the IASB decided that a three-stage model would be more appropriate. Stage 1 will include financial instruments which have had no noticeable increase in Credit Risk since their initial recognition or that have low credit risk. Stage 2 will include financial instruments which have had a noticeable increase in Credit Risk since recognition, however, does not have evidence which suggests that they have been impaired. Stage 3 will include any financial instruments which have had a noticeable increase in Credit Risk since recognition and have evidence that they are impaired. In the table below I have compared IFRS 9 in its three stages to how things would look if IAS 39 used the same technique. Will IFRS 9 eliminate the possibility of a repeat of 2008? In my opinion, the simple answer is no. Evidence, without a doubt, suggests that under excess financial pressure, banks should be able to withstand it without any major implications. However, despite this, I am not convinced that any reporting standard put in place would be able to prevent another crash. Nonetheless, it is important that all financial institutions become compliant by the impending 1 January 2018 deadline, meaning financial reporting managers who can work on the implementation of IFRS 9 are now in high demand. Due to the significant impact of this change, we know that those candidates with strong ACA, CIMA and ACCA backgrounds, who can efficiently manage key programmes, will shape how well the implementation of IFRS 9 takes place for a company over the next two years. Are you such a candidate and what is your experience of the changes that are taking place? Will these new Standards be robust enough to protect institutions and the public? As a business, are you ready or on track to have these Standards fully implemented in time for the 2018 deadline? If, from a recruitment perspective you need more advice or insight surrounding how we can help you get your company IFRS 9 ready, get in touch with me - T: (020) 8408 6070 E: firstname.lastname@example.org
11. May 2016
KPMG, the global accountant and consultant has announced the formation of KPMG Capital, which will invest in big data and data analytics companies in Europe and beyond. Headquarterd in London, KPMG Capital says it will primarily invest in big data and analytics businesses through strategic acquisitions and technology partnerships. A growing fund The initial value of the fund is believed to be worth $100 million (£66 million), and when required the KPMG Capital fund will be topped up with cash from its parent company. Click here for the article on the web.
11. November 2013
Martin Brennan, Customer Insight Manager with Permanent TSB discusses how Customer intelligence software helps Permanent TSB offer customers what they want, when they want it.Bankers often use marketing analytics to figure out how to sell their products and services. At Permanent TSB, analytics also drives the kinds of products we offer in the first place. By “reverse engineering” the process, we’ve created products and services that better meet our clients’ needs.Historically we took the blanket approach to marketing – everyone got the same message. We might send marketing messages on mortgages to a retired couple with a paid-off house and to a 25-year-old with no need for one. When we started using analytics, we began to segment customers so that we could target the messages. This dramatically increased the effectiveness of our messages – as it should – because the targeted messages aligned more closely with the customer’s wants and needs.Reverse engineeringNow we are using the analytical insights to inform our product development decisions. This is critical and has helped us reshape our products over the past two years – offering more Web and mobile applications, and providing loan products that will appeal to a customer base that is recovering from the recent recession. Analytics helped us see that people increasingly want “simple” products – and that’s what we’re offering.As we’ve increased our use of analytics, we’ve also discovered two key things worth sharing:One question leads to another. When you start working with analytics, you end up asking more questions than you ever thought possible. Each answer spurs another round of questions. That helps drive modernization and improvement.Visual analytics tools matter. To articulate the insights from data, you need to present them in a way that doesn’t require an analytics background to understand. Being able to present the data visually is probably as important as trying to get the data.Although we aren’t there yet, we are working toward making sure that when a customer contacts us we know exactly the right offer to provide them. After all, if they are contacting us, it’s highly probable that they are actively looking for a financial product. We are utilizing our analytics to prompt our staff to offer just the right product.Catching the analytics feverIn addition, our early successes in marketing caught the attention of other units in the bank. A lot of other internal customers are looking for customer information that we might be able to supply. A good example is in the collections environment: We’ve unearthed some customer insights that allow collections to focus its efforts a little bit more in certain areas.There is one area that we aren’t that focused on yet – the whole big data area. We’re a midsize financial institution in a country of four million people. Maybe it is because the analytics solution we’ve deployed is taking care of our needs so well that we aren’t looking to adopt a big data solution right now. It is definitely something we’re watching, though. Click here for the article on the web.
03. October 2013
Nottingham-based credit card company Capital One has won 'Europe's Best Workplace' in 2013 in the large company category by Great Place to Work®. The annual ranking is the most comprehensive study of organizational culture in the world and identifies, on this occasion, the 100 Best Workplaces in Europe.The announcement comes just two weeks after Capital One was rated the UK's number one best large employer in the UK 'Best Workplaces' Awards for 2013.Each year, the Great Place to Work® Trust Index forms a key part of the assessment process, in which employees are encouraged to represent their honest views and perceptions of their employer. Feedback from over 650 Capital One respondents was that employees felt 'valued and part of the business', with a strong appreciation for its 'great culture of fun & work life balance and 'genuine focus on the community'.Capital One is dedicated to its vision of 'Let's make lives better' and each year, takes a day out to celebrate this, which employees feel helps to unite the business. Employees are also encouraged to participate in its annual festival - Visionfest - which showcases the best of employee talent.Brian Cole, Managing Director at Capital One said: "To receive this level of recognition on a European scale is fantastic. We have been working extremely hard to turn our strategic vision - 'Let's make lives better' - into a reality so this award is testament to the commitment and hard work of all our employees."We are constantly striving to create and maintain a working environment that supports and motivates our people. Capital One has a unique culture, which is firmly underpinned by our vision and we are certain that this has been the key driver of our success as an organization."Robert Levering, Co-Founder and Global CEO of Great Place to Work® said: "Companies in this year's ranking are developing organizational cultures dedicated to building trust and camaraderie among their employees. Inclusion on this list reflects companies' commitment to continuously improving the quality of life of employees and setting new standards for organizations in the future."Capital One is dedicated to its vision of 'Let's make lives better' and each year, the whole business takes a day out of the office to celebrate this. Employees are also encouraged to participate in its annual festival - Visionfest - which showcases the best of employee talent. Capital One was second in the Great Place to Work® 'Best Workplaces' awards for 2012 and has climbed to top spot this year. In addition, the company was shortlisted for Best Financial Services Provider by Which? in 2012.Great Place to Work® launched the first Best Companies to Work For list in conjunction with Fortune magazine in the United States and Exame in Brazil more than 20 years ago. Great Place to Work® now recognizes workplaces in nearly 50 countries. For the 2013 Best Workplaces in Europe lists, Great Place to Work® analyzed data provided by more than 2.100 companies that represent more than 1 million employees.Click here for the article on the web. And click here for the full list of companies recognized.
27. July 2013
FICO, a leading predictive analytics and decision management software company, and Efma today announced the results of the seventh European Credit Risk Survey, which measures retail bankers´ outlook for the availability of credit along with their investment priorities for the year ahead. In the February survey, completed by 130 credit risk professionals from 41 countries, the forecast for a “credit gap” between credit supply and demand fell sharply from the last survey, conducted this past fall. For consumers, the projected gap was just 4 percentage points, with 30 percent of respondents projecting some increase in the amount of credit requested and 26 percent projecting an increase in supply. By comparison, in the autumn 2012 survey the spread between projected demand and supply was a full 20 percentage points. For small businesses, the gap was even smaller. In the new survey, 31 percent of respondents reported that they expect the aggregate amount of credit requested by small businesses to increase, and 29 percent expect the amount granted by lenders to also increase. “Most of the new business growth in our corporate sector is coming from the SME segment,” said Dr. Cüneyt Sezgin, board and audit committee member at Turkey´s Garanti Bank in the FICO/Efma report. “Loans represent the primary relationship between banks and SMEs, as other financing alternatives for smaller companies are not well-developed in this market. Cash loans to SMEs represented 37 percent of total Turkish lira cash loans in 2012, and this ratio has been continuously increasing.” “Despite the economic challenges in many countries, lenders are telling us they´re prepared to meet a modest increase in credit demand,” said Mike Gordon, senior vice president for FICO sales, services and marketing. “Given last month´s report that European banks have dramatically cut their Basel III capital shortfall, it appears that they gradually may be able to make more capital available for borrowers.” European bankers also laid out their priorities for investment in analytics. More than 40 percent of respondents reported they will invest in improving their analytics, with the highest priorities being credit risk models for both new credit applicants (61 percent of respondents) and existing customers (50 percent). In addition, 38 percent of respondents said they will increase their investment in risk analytics that incorporate Big Data. “Although consumer lending is a mature process using analytics to support risk classification, marketing, underwriting and authorizations, predictive models must constantly be calibrated to accommodate changes in consumers´ behavior,” said Manuel Goncalves, director of the Risk and Decision Models Unit at Portugal-based Millennium bcp in the report. “These changes are driven not only by the adverse economic context but also by greater mobility and social networking. At the same time, there are new and richer sources of data that can be used to improve risk management and deliver a better customer experience.” The delinquency forecast was nearly unchanged from the last survey, with at least 40 percent of respondents forecasting an increase in delinquencies during the next six months on mortgages, credit cards and small business loans. “We don´t expect a reversal of this trend until the economies of Europe show greater recovery,” said Patrick Desmarès, secretary general of Efma. “That said, Europe is a heterogeneous region, with some countries preparing for a triple-dip recession while others, such as Turkey, look quite robust. The uncertainty across much of the region is particularly challenging for multi-national banks.” Click here for the article on the web.
24. April 2013