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Data quality key to risk overhaul - survey

06 May 2009  |  8276 views  |  1 Risk on chalkboard

Just a third of financial services executives think risk management principles in their business remain sound, with over half conducting or planning a major overhaul of operations, according to a survey by the Economist Intelligence Unit.

The survey of 334 executives, conducted for SAS, shows the improvement of data quality and availability is likely to be the key area of focus in the management of risk over the next three years, cited by 41% of respondents.

Strengthening risk governance is a key area for 33%, developing a firm wide approach to risk is important for 29% and improved technology infrastructure is cited by 24%.

The research highlights a belief that all departments, not just lending, need a clearer picture of risk adjusted performance and the behaviours that influence it.

Virginia Garcia, senior research director, Tower Group, says: "Although technology is not to blame for the widespread financial crisis, rigid technology and business processes have undoubtedly made it difficult for many FSIs to respond rapidly and effectively to the financial crisis. This situation reinforces the business case for a more agile and intelligent enterprise architecture to mitigate risk by helping FSIs adjust to volatile business dynamics."

Less than a third of those questioned feel regulators handled the financial crisis properly but respondents agree that transparency needs to be heavily emphasised within proposed reforms.

They point to greater disclosure of off-balance-sheet vehicles, stronger regulation of credit rating agencies, and the central clearing for over-the-counter derivatives as initiatives thought to be most beneficial to the financial services industry.

"Now more than ever, this survey confirms the need for the players in financial markets to make transparency a major part of a comprehensive overhaul of risk and performance management to make better business decisions," says Allan Russell, head, global risk practice, SAS.

Comments: (1)

Mikael Krohn
Mikael Krohn - EDB Business Partner ASA - London 06 May, 2009, 18:09

In order to improve the quality of data, the financial services must start with improving the quality in the processes where the data is captured, especially within the lending area. The problem is "garbage in, garbage out" and it does not help to make it more transparent or available as a first step. Banks need to ensure they get more stringent business processes in place combined with appropriate tools to support quality and traceability in their data capturing.

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