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Don’t Confuse a Control Risk Assessment with Enterprise Risk Assessment

Don’t Confuse a Control Risk Assessment with an Enterprise Risk Assessment

In managing the internal audit function, the institution’s Audit Committee is responsible for commissioning a Control (or “Auditor’s”) Risk Assessment, developing audit plans and the overseeing the execution of the audit program. A Control Risk Assessment documents the internal auditor’s or outsourced audit service provider’s understanding of the institution’s significant business activities and their associated risks. These assessments typically consider the risks inherent in a given business line, the mitigating control processes and the resulting aggregate risk exposure to the institution. The assessments should be updated annually by the auditors to reflect changes to the system of internal control or work processes and to incorporate new lines of business.

Conversely, an Enterprise Risk Assessment can be described as a risk-based approach to managing an enterprise, integrating concepts of internal control, the Sarbanes–Oxley Act and strategic planning (remember: Strategy Drives Risk). ERM addresses the needs of various stakeholders (i.e., risk owners, risk managers, C-Suite executives, Board members) who need to understand the broad spectrum of risks facing the institution to ensure they are appropriately managed. Put another way, enterprise risk management is accomplished in large part by performing an enterprise risk assessment.

With that groundwork paid, let’s take a look at the Control (or “Auditor’s”) Risk Assessment first. The Control Risk Assessment methodology performed by the auditor identifies all auditable areas, provides a narrative basis for the auditor’s (not management’s) determination of relative risks, and, is consistent from one auditable area to another. The Control Risk Assessment quantifies Credit Risk, Interest Rate Risk, Liquidity Risk, Operational Risk, Compliance Risk, Strategic Risk, Reputational Risk, BSA Risk and Fair Lending Risk (if applicable). Some specific functions and activities may be embedded within larger categories; for example, some information technology risks are addressed in the Operational Risk area while certain other IT risks can be found in the Compliance Risk area. The auditor’s Control Risk Assessment considers the potential that deficiencies in the system of internal control would expose the institution to potential loss and provides the auditor with data sufficient to develop the scope, coverage, timing, frequency and budget for the audits planned for the year.

When appropriate, the auditor should consider of the introduction of new products and departmental changes which factor into the audit plan. It should be noted that ratings of particular business activities or corporate functions may change with time and the auditor should revise the method for assessing risk accordingly. A properly drafted internal audit plan is based on the auditor’s Control Risk Assessment and typically includes an evaluation of key internal controls within each significant business activity. Ideally, the auditor’s only role should be to independently and objectively evaluate and report on the effectiveness of an institution’s risk management, control and governance processes for the purpose of audit plan development. The assessment should be periodically updated to reflect changes in the system of internal control, work processes, business activities or the business environment.

Conversely, the institution’s Enterprise Risk Assessment provides management with actionable outcomes that facilitate risk mitigation, controls development and process remediation and includes the methods and processes used to seize opportunities related to the achievement of institutional strategic objectives by assessing them in terms of likelihood and magnitude of impact, determining a response strategy and monitoring progress. By identifying and proactively addressing risks and opportunities, the institution protects and creates value for its shareholders, employees and customers.

Enterprise risk assessment frameworks describe an approach for identifying, analyzing, responding to and monitoring risks and opportunities within the internal and external environment facing the institution. Management selects a risk response strategy for specific risks identified and analyzed, which may include:

  • Avoidance: exiting the activities giving rise to risk
  • Harnessing: taking action to reduce the likelihood or impact related to the risk
  • Alternative Actions: deciding and considering other feasible steps to minimize risks
  • Transferring: or sharing a portion of the risk
  • Accept: no action is taken due to a cost/benefit decision

Monitoring is typically performed by management as part of its internal control activities, such as review of analytical reports or conducting management committee meetings with relevant experts to understand how the risk response strategy is working and whether the objectives are being achieved.

So, you can see that each of these two risk assessment approaches have distinct objectives, methodologies and outcomes and therefore, should not be combined or mistaken for one another. Moreover, your regulatory examiners expect to see both approaches in operation at your shop. The bad news is that employing both approaches can be costly and time consuming. The good news is that there is a simple, cost-effective way to get them both done and achieve remarkable results that will impress your examiners and Board of Directors and keep your bank compliant with risk management mandates set forth by the OCC, FDIC and FRB.

If you’d like to know more or get some help with either one of these risk assessments. Visit www.tracerisk.com


Demystifying Risk Assessments

Some banks have an idea, albeit vague, about performing risk assessments. But few have made real progress in planning or actually implementing a Risk Assessment Program. Here is a practical approach that demystifies the process so you can get going!

History

Boards of directors have become increasingly aware of the need to manage the wider range of risks across the banking enterprise. They are looking for ways to meet their fiduciary responsibilities, manage their own personal liability and improve the business. They are asking about, and in some cases, are pushing strongly for a more coordinated and comprehensive process of managing risks − enterprise risk management (ERM), in other words.

At the heart of any ERM program is the risk assessment. And for some banks, the ability to perform a risk assessment poses a significant challenge.

Most bankers are already functioning at full capacity and adding to their workload will not be easy. Moreover, what exactly does ERM work look like? C-level officers are frequently at a loss on how to get started or how to make meaningful progress. They may question how risk assessments will enable them to more effectively manage compliance issues.

A “core risk assessment project” is a practical way to take advantage of what is currently being done in the bank and move forward while managing costs in a tight budgetary environment. The starting point is to identify the effectiveness of risk-related activities the bank has already put into place. Gaps can then be identified and prioritized, leading to significant progress on the journey to a more integrated, efficient and value-driven approach to risk management.

Regulator Expectations

Enterprise risk management has been discussed since before Y2K (remember that?), yet it has been rarely implemented effectively. Professional associations, internal audit groups, bank directors and chief risk officers have been hearing about ERM at conferences and seminars and there is no shortage of articles about ERM in trade publications. However, the discussion has remained largely academic and not actionable. In that light, the regulatory agencies have taken up ERM as a principal focus in their examination process and here’s how the OCC views the issue[1]:

“The OCC expects bank management and the board to oversee all new, expanded, or modified products and services through an effective risk management process. Failure to provide an effective risk management process is an unsafe and unsound banking practice. An effective risk management process includes: (1) performing adequate due diligence prior to introducing the product; (2) developing and implementing controls and processes to ensure risks are properly measured, monitored and controlled; and, (3) developing and implementing appropriate performance monitoring and review systems. The formality of the bank’s risk management process should reflect the size of the bank and the complexity of the product or service offered. Depending on these factors, it may be appropriate for the bank to establish an executive management committee to oversee development and implementation of bank products and services.”

While there is a genuine need for risk management, it is unreasonable to expect senior executives to fully understand the risks, and the interrelationships of the risks that their people are taking, without the use of improved tools and better methods.

Challenges

In many organizations, operational risks are being managed but frequently in haphazard and fragmented ways. Many banks lose sight of the big picture and do not sufficiently link risk management activities to their business strategies. Some risks are being identified and managed, but only with limited coordination. Other key risks are not even on the radar screen. Many activities are restricted to a controls-based approach with individual requirements being managed too narrowly. There is minimal or no coordination to take advantage of the value available in aggregating these risk management activities within an effective overall risk management approach.

The consequences of fragmented approaches can result in substantial reputational exposure and regulatory criticism. The challenge most community banks face is getting beyond the talking stage and understanding what needs to be done, and then getting on with it in a coordinated, uniform manner that does not require “reinventing the wheel” every year.

Let’s look at the benefits of a well established risk assessment program:

  • It establishes the inherent risk for each area under review
  • It establishes thresholds for risk appetite and risk tolerance
  • It establishes the Key Risk Indicators (KRIs) in a way that promotes a broader understanding of risks
  • It provides for measuring the probability of an adverse event or condition and the consequent impact
  • It provides a “residual” risk that establishes an overall risk profile for the bank
  • It puts in place a process to highlight the key risks, set an action plan, and then establish accountability for risk mitigation
  • It provides a consistent, uniform way of looking at risk at three different but connected levels: from a management perspective; from a Board perspective and from a bank examiner’s perspective
  • It enables organizational alignment to manage the risks and control the costs
  • It allows the bank to take on and effectively manage risks that its competitors cannot

Gaps

Risks to banks are categorized in operational, financial reporting and compliance areas – the three objectives of the integrated framework modified by the Committee of Sponsoring Organizations (COSO) in 2013. The illustration below looks complicated, but you needn’t fret about it. Just know that this universal framework has been designed to help foster an understanding of the dimensions of risk for those persons charged with risk program development. We’ll demystify all of this for you as you read further.

COSO’s visual model for ERM resembles a complex Rubik’s Cube®, and it is daunting to many bankers. In addition to the three risk objectives mentioned, there are five stages in the COSO ERM integrated framework representing what is needed to achieve each of the objectives (operational, reporting and compliance).

cosoReading from top to bottom, the five components start with “Control Environment” and conclude with “Monitoring Activities,” and there is a clear sequence of activities; some of the interim stages include “Risk Assessment” and “Risk Response.”

The remaining visible side of the cube outlines different levels of the organization. The categorization starts at the broadest level, the entity (or entire enterprise) and proceeds to a subsidiary level. This element of the model is designed to be tailored to each business line of the bank depending on organizational structure. Judging from the complexity of the COSO ERM model, the accompanying framework and separate risk assessment techniques, implementing ERM using this model as a starting point will not happen in most banks unless they have considerable resources and flawless project management skills.

So, What’s the Solution?

Enterprise risk management is a worthy goal for all banks, regardless of size. Risk management activities need to be tied to strategy and ultimately built into everyday business processes. The following project plan can enable banks to identify and coordinate activities they already have begun, identify risks not adequately managed, close gaps, and move forward. The steps of this plan are: 1) organizing your team; 2) establishing a framework; 3) assessing risks; 4) inventorying current risk-response activities; and, 5) closing the gaps.

 

Leveraging existing knowledge and programs will go a long way to helping reduce the effort in getting started. For example, internal audit, the compliance officer, the IT security officer and your risk officer (if you have one) have probably already conducted some type of risk assessment.

 

Here’s how to do it. . .

 

  • Organize the Effort: Bring resources together to coordinate your activities

 

To start on the right foot, it is important to assemble the right people and agree on timelines and objectives. Organizing requires assembling all the department heads and managers who have responsibilities for risk management activities to oversee the project and guide what will be done, when and by whom. The risk assessment processes need to be built with these stakeholders in mind and designed to suit the needs of the bank. Since the risk assessment is ultimately strategic in nature, it will never succeed without support from the Chief Executive Officer and other C-suite officers. It may be helpful to include the Chief Financial Officer, Chief Operating Officer, Internal Audit Director, Legal Counsel and, of course, the Chief Risk Officer, if you have one, into the process.

 

  • Establish a Framework Around Risk: Develop a model but keep it simple.

 

The risk assessment model should be comprehensive and useful, particularly for smaller banks where investment in risk assessment tools may have limitations. At TraceRisk, we have found that Software-as-aService (SaaS) offers the most cost-effective and readily implementable solution for performing the risk assessments. The approach to get started is one that works from a basic and logical model: Identify – Assess – Mitigate. “Identification” means knowing the key risks (KRIs); the “Assessment” stage involves scoring the probability and impact of events and conditions; and, the “Mitigation” phase means dealing with residual risks (mitigation).

 

A common understanding of some other key terms will be helpful so team members are on the same page when it comes to comprehending risk concepts, performing risk assess-ments and implementing risk management. Here are some of the most common terms:

  • Risk Appetite: The amount of risk that a bank is willing to seek or accept in the pursuit of its long term objectives.
  • Risk Tolerance: The boundaries of risk taking outside of which the bank is not prepared to venture in the pursuit of its long term objectives.
  • Risk Universe: The full range of risks which could impact, either positively or negatively, on the bank’s capabilities.
  • Risk Capacity: The amount and type of risk the bank is able to support in pursuit of its business objectives.
  • Risk Target: The optimal level of risk the bank wants to take in pursuit of a specific business goal.
  • Risk Limit: Thresholds to monitor that actual risk exposure does not deviate too much from the risk target and stays within the bank’s risk tolerance/risk appetite. Exceeding risk limits will typically trigger management action.
  • The Business Context: This includes understanding the state of development of the bank as a business, its size, industry sector, geographical spread and the complexity of the business model.
  • Risk Management Culture: This addresses the extent to which the board (and its relevant committees), management, staff and regulators understand and embrace the risk management systems and processes of the bank.
  • Risk Management Processes: This refers to the extent to which there are processes for identifying, assessing, responding to and reporting on risks and risk responses within the bank.
  • Risk Assessment: This refers to the bank’s identification of inherent risk, the probability of adverse events or conditions, the impact of such events or conditions, the resultant residual risk, an explanation of how risk conclusions were reached and what actions are planned or taken relative to the level of residual risk.
  • Risk Management Systems: This means the extent to which there are appropriate IT and other systems to support the risk management processes.
  • Risk Capacity: The resources, including financial, intangible and human, which a bank is able to deploy in managing risk.
  • Risk Management Maturity: The level of skills, knowledge and attitudes displayed by people in the bank, combined with the level of sophistication of risk management processes and systems in managing risk within the bank.
  • Risk Capability: A function of the risk capacity and risk management maturity which, when taken together, enable a bank to manage risk in the pursuit of its long term objectives.
  • Propensity to Take Risk: The extent to which people in the bank are predisposed to undertaking activities the impact, timing and likelihood of which are unknown, and which is influenced by financial, cultural, performance and ethical considerations.
  • Propensity to Exercise Control: The extent to which people in the bank are predisposed to take steps to change the likelihood, timing or impact of risks, influenced by financial, cultural, performance and ethical considerations.
  • Performing the Actual Risk Assessment: Avoid getting lost in the details. Start off by thinking broadly about risk and then become more detailed.

Most community banks are already doing a good deal of risk management, but the processes and reporting are often isolated, inconsistent and fragmented. Risks related to internal controls over UDAAP for example, are under scrutiny because of Dodd-Frank. ECOA risks are managed centrally in many banks while at others, it is de-centralized. In some banks, Fair Lending risks are never even measured at all! At this point it is important to ascertain how much your bank is already doing to manage risk. Your team will need to interview key people and ask questions in an open-ended way using Key Risk Indicators (KRIs) as guidance (the “Identification” phase).

Likely candidates to interview include the Compliance Officer, the BSA Officer, the Security Officer (physical and IT/Data) the Chief Credit Officer, heads of business units and your marketing officer. Use Key Risk Indicators to establish a dialogue that brings out the reality of compliance risk without suggesting what it should be.

Rather than thinking in narrow terms, start off by thinking about the largest risk your bank faces: not achieving its overall business objectives. These objectives emerge from the strategic direction set at the highest levels of the bank. Then, begin to identify what the top 10 risks at your bank could be and how they affect the bank’s overall strategic objectives. Confining your list to 10 key risks (or 5, or 15, depending on your bank) in this early stage will keep your team focused on the big picture rather than becoming mired in details.

Once you have corralled the top 10 risks, you can break them down by subject, regulation, department or any other criteria that suits your bank or approach so you can begin to assess the specific risks and get closer to the actual “residual risk” levels (the amount of risk left over after mitigation techniques have been applied). This is the “assessment” phase[2].

A good assessment tool will help you identify a universe of 25 to 40 risks per subject (i.e., products, services, functional areas) so you can learn where risks reside throughout the bank and you can assess their significance. Residual risks will not be the same for any two banks. For some banks, the significance of their geographic area poses higher risks than other financial institutions. In other cases, product risk will have higher risk implications. Still others may face bigger risks when it comes to pricing. It is up to the team to collaborate across the bank’s array of products and services to identify, understand and mitigate the residual risks.

Developing strong risk assessments will not require discontinuation of existing risk activities and starting from scratch. Instead, you can build on existing activities that have proven value and transfer the data into a risk assessment analysis model to achieve a more holistic outcome.

  • Identify Gaps and Prioritize: Compare your inventory of current risk responses to the top 10 priorities.

Now that you know the risks that can impede achievement of your bank’s business objectives, along with the risk response activities currently being conducted, you can study the residual risks. Which risks are being adequately managed? Which ones are missing from the radar screen? Where is an initiative already in place that help you to better understand and manage risks?

Once the residual risks by subject have been assessed, the next step is to develop an approach to close the gaps (this is the “mitigation” phase). This begins with prioritizing which gaps have the greatest potential to derail achievement of your bank’s business objectives. Which would require the greatest deployment of human or financial capital? Which ones would demand outside resources? Which ones could be accomplished in the shortest time?

Many elements of your bank’s existing structure may be sufficient and will be retained, but significant gaps will probably be found. These may be in risk management leadership, risk assessment methodology, specific technical skills, common processes or technological capabilities. Internal cultural biases or paradigms may need to be changed as well.

After weighing the urgency and the resources required, you then can develop specific strategies to close the most critical gaps. While keeping the desired end result in mind, each of the strategies can be slotted into an implementation plan, complete with action steps and a timeline. A process will need to be established for ongoing reporting of the progress to mitigate the risks, as well as periodic reassessment of the risks being tracked.

Discuss ways to move forward with members of your team and let members of this group direct you to the appropriate people for answers. Also, be alert for new risks, whether arising from the environment, regulatory changes, competitors or new products. You’ll need to include recommendations to guide the bank to improve ongoing risk assessment processes. Decisions will need to be made on how to best manage a risk and where it should be managed. Will you centralize certain activities, or embed them in specific processes or business units?

Conclusion

Assessing risk is a journey. A well-defined and supported risk assessment project enables the bank to “jump start” the process, rather than delaying moving forward because the concept seems grandiose, costly and unworkable. In fact, delaying further on assessing enterprise risk can very likely lead to regulatory action in the form of a “Matter Requiring Attention” or worse, compelling your bank to develop and implement a risk assessment program within a timeframe set by the regulators. Nobody wants that.

It’s best to take stock of existing risk assessments as well as risk-response activities and build on them right now. At the end of the project, your executive management group, the Board of Directors and your risk assessment team will realize the value of implementing the risk assessment model and continuing the risk management journey.

To learn more or to see how the TraceRisk solution can save you tons of time and dollars, call Derek Yankoff, Chief Design Officer at (877) 711-4824

or email him at derek.yankoff@tracerisk.com

Copyright ©2016 TraceRisk llc All Rights Reserved. TraceRisk and the TraceRisk logo are trademarks of MSBMCo, Inc. in the U.S. and/or other countries. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

[1] OCC Bulletin 2004-20

[2] TraceRisk has this approach built right in on over 75 Subjects and 3000 KRIs.


COSO Integrated Framework

COSO consists of five interrelated components: Control Environment, Risk Assessment, Control Activities, Information & Communication and Monitoring. These components affect the bank’s management of risk within tolerance levels. See FAQs page for a more complete definition and explanation of the acronym “COSO”.

 

Control Environment:

The control environment sets the tone of an organization, influencing the control consciousness of its people. It is the foundation for all other components of internal control, providing discipline and structure. Control environment factors include the integrity, ethical values and competence of the entity’s people; management’s philosophy and operating style; the way management assigns authority and responsibility, and organizes and develops its people; and the attention and direction provided by the board of directors.

 

Risk Assessment:

Every entity faces a variety of risks from external and internal sources that must be assessed. A precondition to risk assessment is establishment of objectives, linked at different levels and internally consistent. Risk assessment is the identification and analysis of relevant risks to achievement of the objectives, forming a basis for determining how the risks should be managed. Because economic, industry, regulatory and operating conditions will continue to change, mechanisms are needed to identify and deal with the special risks associated with change.

 

Control Activities:

Control activities are the policies and procedures that help ensure management directives are carried out. They help ensure that necessary actions are taken to address risks to achievement of the entity’s objectives. Control activities occur throughout the organization, at all levels and in all functions. They include a range of activities as diverse as approvals, authorizations, verifications, reconciliations, reviews of operating performance, security of assets and segregation of duties.

 

Information and Communication:

Pertinent information must be identified, captured and communicated in a form and timeframe that enable people to carry out their responsibilities. Information systems produce reports, containing operational, financial and compliance-related information, that make it possible to run and control the business. They deal not only with internally generated data, but also information about external events, activities and conditions necessary to informed business decision-making and external reporting. Effective communication also must occur in a broader sense, flowing down, across and up the organization. All personnel must receive a clear message from top management that control responsibilities must be taken seriously. They must understand their own role in the internal control system, as well as how individual activities relate to the work of others. They must have a means of communicating significant information upstream. There also needs to be effective communication with external parties, such as customers, suppliers, regulators and shareholders.

 

Monitoring Activities:

Internal control systems need to be monitored–a process that assesses the quality of the system’s performance over time. This is accomplished through ongoing monitoring activities, separate evaluations or a combination of the two. Ongoing monitoring occurs in the course of operations. It includes regular management and supervisory activities, and other actions personnel take in performing their duties. The scope and frequency of separate evaluations will depend primarily on an assessment of risks and the effectiveness of ongoing monitoring procedures. Internal control deficiencies should be reported upstream, with serious matters reported to top management and the board.


Cybersecurity Guide!

cybersecurity
Data breaches resulting in the compromise of personally identifiable information affects of thousands of Americans. Intrusions into financial, corporate and government networks are no longer rare or isolated incidents. Complex financial schemes committed by sophisticated cyber criminals against businesses and the public in general are now commonplace. These are just a few examples of crimes perpetrated online over the past year or so, and part of the reason why FBI Director James Comey, testifying before Congress last week, said that “the pervasiveness of the cyber threat is such that the FBI and other intelligence, military, homeland security, and law enforcement agencies across the government view cyber security and cyber attacks as a top priority.” The FBI, according to Comey, targets the most dangerous malicious cyber activity—high-level intrusions by state-sponsored hackers and global cyber syndicates, and the most prolific botnets. And in doing so, we work collaboratively with our domestic and international partners and the private sector.

Financial institutions, regardless of size, are particularly vulnerable to cyber attacks and that’s why it’s so important to assess your risks in this critical area of your operations. To assist you in this effort TraceRisk has developed a Cyber Security Risk Management Guide. Our clients have found it to be very helpful and, just like we do for our ERM clients, we’re making it available to you FREE OF CHARGE! A copy of the Table of Contents is attached so you can see what is covered.

Guide to Developing a Cyber Security and Risk Mitigation Plan
A Community Bank White Paper from TraceRisk™

Table of Contents
Preface
Purpose
Scope
Target Audience
Introduction
Building a Risk Management Program
Appointing Leadership
Establishing a Risk Management Framework
Defining the System
Cyber Asset Identification and Classification
Identifying Critical Cyber Assets (Additional Guidance URLs)
Classifying Cyber Assets
Personally Identifying Information (PII)
Identifying the Electronic Security Perimeter (ESP) Protecting Cyber Assets
Conducting a Vulnerability Assessment (Additional Guidance URLs)
Assessing and Mitigating Risks
Assessing Impact and Risk Levels
Mitigating Risks with Security Controls (Additional Guidance URLs)
Evaluating and Monitoring Control Effectiveness
Addressing People and Policy Risks
Cyber Security Policy
Security Policy Elements
Security Related Roles and Responsibilities
Policy Implementation and Enforcement
Policy Exceptions (Additional Guidance URLs)
Personnel and Training
Security Awareness and Training (Additional Guidance URLs)
Due Diligence in Hiring
Access Privileges
Operational Risks
Perform Periodic Risk Assessment and Mitigation
Enforce Access Control, Monitoring and Logging
Perform Disposal or Redeployment of Assets (Additional Guidance URLs)
Enforce Change Control and Configuration Management
Conduct Vulnerability Assessments (Additional Guidance URLs)
Control, Monitor and Log all Access to Assets
Configuration and Maintenance (Additional Guidance URLs)
Incident Handling (Additional Guidance URLs)
Contingency Planning (Additional Guidance URLs)
Insecure Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC) Risks
Physical Security Risks
Plan and Protection
Monitoring, Logging and Retention
Maintenance and Testing
Third Party Relationships
Addressing Technology Risks
Network Risks
Platform Risks
Application Layer Risks
Communications Systems
Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA)
Identifying and Protecting Private Data (Additional Guidance URLs)
Steps in Vulnerability Assessments
Incident Response Planning Items
Disaster Response Planning Items
Glossary and Appendices


61% Increase in Regulatory Guidance in 2016

Our friends over at Pacific Coast Bankers Bank publish a daily bulletin for their readers and there was a story in this morning’s issue that really caught our attention. It’s about the deluge of regulatory guidance that has come out this year and how PCBB found that FDIC Financial Institution Letters (not including FRB, OCC or CFPB Bulletins) have increased 61% so far in 2016 over the total number issued in 2015. They went on to say that all that guidance, on an annualized basis, will amount to roughly 5400 pages of regulatory information! That’s a lotta stuff bankers have to receive, study, interpret and act upon in order to stay current with regulatory expectations regarding risk management, corporate governance, compliance and safety & soundness.

percentage-graph-2

 

OK, that’s the UGLY part.

Then comes the BAD part: How in the world are you supposed to cope with all that guidance? Remember, all this new guidance is not “in place of” but rather, it’s “in addition to” what you’re already doing and that’s a baaaad proposition. Think about it, who’s supposed to implement all that guidance? Who’s supposed to perform the risk assessments relative to all that guidance? Who’s supposed to report to the Board and/or its Risk Committee on the outcome of all that guidance? Is that person YOU?

Are you as exhausted as we are thinking about all this stuff?

Well, here’s the GOOD part. The team at TraceRisk sat around the table this morning with a big pot of hot coffee and a box of donuts (yeah, we like ’em, too) and we re-imagined our role in helping banks assess the risks outlined by the FDIC, OCC, FRB and CFPB in all those guidance letters. We already know that our clients look to us for innovation when helping them keep pace with all that guidance. Our discussion revolved around what more could we do. First, we’re going to continue to provide useful answers to questions posed on the CBANC website. We love this forum and we hope you like our offerings.

Next, we decided that the Content and Features teams at TraceRisk will focus on delivering risk assessment modules (we call ’em Subjects) that have a one-to-one relationship with emerging regulatory guidance and do it within 30 business days of issuance. In this way, we believe that Chief Risk Officers (or those bankers tasked with risk management responsibilities) will be able to perform timely risk assessments on “hot” topics and be ready to confidently report to their Boards on the latest issues. Moreover, CROs want to be ready for the examiners when they show up and start asking tough questions. We concluded that in a thankless job like risk management, CROs can be heroes if properly equipped and informed and that is a GOOD thing. And, that’s where we can help most.

If you’re looking for a partner and not just a vendor to help you with your enterprise risk assessments, and, you want to avoid producing complicated charts and graphs that require heavy interpretation and are not “actionable”, give us a call at TraceRisk. You’ve got a lots of important things to do – let us help you get this one done.

www.tracerisk.com


Deposit Accounts

Use Case for Assessing Risk on Deposit Accounts

Why assess the risk? Deposits are funds that customers place with the bank and that the bank is obligated to repay on demand or after a specific period of time or after the expiration of some required notice period (e.g. certificate of deposit). Deposits are the primary funding source for most banks and, as a result, have a significant effect on the bank’s liquidity. Errors and omissions and fraudulent alteration of the amount or account number to which funds are to be deposited could result in a loss to the bank. Additionally, uncollected overdrafts, returned items, kiting and other check schemes and frauds can result in losses on deposit accounts.

Who should assess the risks? Chief Operating Officer, Chief Financial Officer, BSA Officer, Compliance Officer

How to assess the risk: Rate the KRIs to determine if a threat would successfully exploit a vulnerability and to justify expenditures to implement countermeasures to protect the bank’s assets or reputation. Use the “Focus Risk Assessment” tool for in-depth analysis of risks and mitigation techniques.

 

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Debit Cards

Use Case for Assessing Risk on Debit Cards

Why assess the risk?   Online debit cards use a PIN for customer authentication and online access to account balance information. At present, financial institutions authenticate customers by matching the PIN with the account number directly through a merchant’s terminal. Banks engaged in retail payment systems should establish an appropriate risk management process that identifies, measures, monitors, and limits risks. Management and the board should manage and mitigate the identified risks through effective internal and external audit, physical and logical information security, business continuity planning, vendor management, operational controls, and legal measures. Risk management strategies should reflect the nature and complexity of the institution’s participation in retail payment systems, including any support they offer to clearing and settlement systems. Management should develop risk management processes that capture not only operational risks, but also credit, liquidity, strategic, reputational, legal, and compliance risks, particularly as they engage in new retail payment products and systems.  Management should also develop an enterprise wide view of retail payment activities due to cross-channel risk. These risk management processes should consider the risks posed by third-party service providers.
Who should assess the risks? Electronic Banking Officer, Operations Administrator, Cash Management/ACH Officer, Chief Financial Officer, Information Technology Officer, Data Security Officer

How to assess the risk: Rate the KRIs to determine if a threat would successfully exploit a vulnerability and to justify expenditures to implement countermeasures to protect the bank’s assets or reputation. Use the “Focus Risk Assessment” tool for in-depth analysis of risks and mitigation techniques.

 

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Credit Administration

Use Case for Assessing Risk on Loan Administration

Why assess the risk? Credit administration and the quality of the loan portfolio is among the most important aspects of the bank’s business strategy. To a great extent, it is the quality of a bank’s loan portfolio that determines the profitability of the bank and the ultimate return on investment to the shareholders. Conclusions regarding the bank’s condition and the quality of its management are weighted heavily by the degree of risk in lending practices. The loan portfolio and its administration recognizes that loans comprise a major portion of the bank’s assets and that it is this asset category which ordinarily presents the greatest credit risk and potential loss exposure to the bank. Moreover, pressure for increased profitability, liquidity considerations, and a vastly more complex marketplace have produced an ever-changing risk profile to the bank.

Who should assess the risks? Credit Administrator, Chief Credit Officer, Chief Lending Officer, Directors’ Loan Committee

How to assess the risk: Rate the KRIs to determine if a threat would successfully exploit a vulnerability and to justify expenditures to implement countermeasures to protect the bank’s assets or reputation. Use the “Focus Risk Assessment” tool for in-depth analysis of risks and mitigation techniques.

 

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COSO Integrated Framework – SOX 404 & FDICIA 112

Use Case COSO Integrated Framework – SOX 404 & FDICIA 112

Use Case: The New COSO Integrated Framework is an important development as it facilitates efforts by banks to develop cost-effective systems of internal control to achieve business objectives and sustain and improve performance. The new version is the predominant method for reporting on the effectiveness of internal control over financial reporting by public companies as required by Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act.

Who Should Assess the Risk? Chief Administrative Officer, Chief Operating Officer, Chief Financial Officer, Internal Auditor

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Correspondent Bank Concentrations

Use Case for Assessing Risk on Correspondent Bank Concentrations

Why assess the risk? Financial institutions should implement procedures for identifying correspondent concentrations so that there is no over-reliance on or disproportionate deposit balance at a single depository bank. For prudent risk management purposes, these procedures should encompass the totality of the institution’s aggregate credit and funding concentrations to each correspondent on a standalone basis, as well as taking into account exposures to each correspondent organization as a whole. In addition, the institution should be aware of exposures of its affiliates to the correspondent and its affiliates.

Who should assess the risks? Chief Financial Officer, Controller, Accounting Mgr., Chief Operating Officer, ALCO

How to assess the risk: Rate the KRIs to determine if a threat would successfully exploit a vulnerability and to justify expenditures to implement countermeasures to protect the bank’s assets or reputation. Use the “Focus Risk Assessment” tool for in-depth analysis of risks and mitigation techniques.
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