5 current coronavirus priorities for op risk managers

  • 9 April 2020

Throughout the coronavirus (Covid-19) situation, we're holding weekly calls with our members based around the world. These calls are a rare opportunity for operational risk managers to talk to their peers from other financial institutions and to discuss the challenges of coronavirus and share solutions and strategies for dealing with them. Here are what they told us their top priorities were on the 9 April 2020.

1. Maintaining business-critical services

Most of our members had already identified critical services as part of their business continuity plans – e.g. payments & IT systems.

What they're doing now is reprioritising these activities and sometimes re-training staff to ensure they can support these critical services.

2. Deploying debt-relief packages

Many governments have announced debt-relief packages, such as payment breaks and mortgage holidays, often with little notice. Financial organisations now need to respond quickly, which means thinking about training, delivery and product approval processes.

3. Refocusing & reprioritising

The focus in many of our member firms has now moved from driving sales and hitting targets, to supporting customers and delivery debt-relief packages. Some projects, especially those that carry risk such as moving systems to the cloud, have been paused. While other projects which improve remote-working capabilities have been accelerated.

4. Increasing internal collaboration

Our members tell us that operational risk functions are taking a more active role than ever in facilitating change and guiding firms through the crisis. With rapid changes, more accountability is being given to the first and second line to review and challenge the changes.  This collaboration could be a lasting positive outcome of this situation.

5. Looking to the future of operational risk practice and framework

The pandemic has been a true test of institutions’ operational risk frameworks, both in terms of resilience and flexibility. There are lessons that we can learn from this to help us improve operational risk practice after this crisis is over.

Risk managers are starting to ask important questions, such as can aspects of the framework be improved? Are there alternative processes and controls that would work better in the long run? And, what is no longer necessary? These questions are important as we move towards a post-coronavirus environment.

Read more from our discussions with the ORX membership

Brief summaries from each of the discussions we've held with our membership so far are available for you to read on our website. If you'd like to know more about the work we're doing to support financial firms and operational risk professionals through the coronavirus situation, then please do get in touch with us.

Or, see how your firm could become a member of ORX and be part of a global community advancing the management of operational risk.

Find out more about ORX Membership

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5 current coronavirus priorities for op risk managers 9 April infographic

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