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Enterprise Governance in Banks

Everyone’s talking about enterprise (business) governance. Typically conversations focus on the application of structured controls across the enterprise to ensure enterprise-wide collaboration between different business units and IT. This in turn, drives the adoption and practice of policies, standards, controls, frameworks, knowledge content and communications. The result? Businesses become more agile, while exerting greater control over costs and overall efficiency.

That, at least, is the theory. But how mature are enterprise governance strategies? And to what extent have they aligned between disparate business units as well as IT?

Far from rosy

The real picture is far from rosy. Many banks still lack the adequate governance and controls required to successfully initiate, manage and deliver major change initiatives. It is true, when it comes to individual business units, you’ll find governance aplenty, but it’s still a big step from these local initiatives to cross-departmental collaboration that significantly drives down risks and costs.

Instead business units take a piecemeal approach, undertaking bespoke and legacy change management and delivery without enterprise transparency and visibility. This creates major inefficiencies and prevents the business from delivering services that genuinely meet and exceed the needs of stakeholders including customers, regulators and IT.

So fragmented are the business functions today that IT often pioneers enterprise governance management in many banks, increasingly delivering much higher success rates than other parts of the enterprise organisation.

What’s needed now?

In order to drive major business initiatives that inspire collaboration of multiple stakeholders, banks must prioritise enterprise governance across organisational units covering front to back business units and IT. Sure, there will be resistance to this approach and many units will argue that this impacts their agility and overall speed to market. But today we live in a world where business integration needs to become a way of life, supported by advances in technology that more than compensate for changes to the ‘no or little governance’ status quo.

To be fair, this approach is often supported by consultancies who exploit these inefficiencies and perpetuate a ‘just in time’ delivery model aimed at individual business units instead of considering the needs of the whole. Part of the turn-around process involves selecting vendors that can undertake a more holistic approach.

So what needs to happen? Regardless of previous experiences, business leaders in banks need to realise the importance of adopting best practice collaboration and innovative governance standards and controls that maximise shareholder returns—as well as helping to reduce risks to the wider organisation and stakeholders. Nobody’s pretending that it’s going to be easy, but the latest strategic thinking along with advanced technology is putting this approach within grasp.

Does this ring true? And what’s helping or preventing your organisation from achieving true enterprise business governance? Share your experience in the comments below. 



Comments: (1)

A Finextra member
A Finextra member 11 February, 2013, 08:37Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

With Basel III coming in Fund transfer pricing will also strike a Governance angle. The funds transfer price will contain the performance evaluation informationof the Retail banking, wholesale banking and treasury operations. Any thoughts?

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