Managing Operational Risk of Financial Services Processes – part 2/2

In my earlier blog post, I had described the factors that lead to compliance complexity of financial services processes. In this post, I will outline the business implications of the increasing process compliance complexity and the specific role of BPM in addressing the operational risk reduction objectives of regulatory compliance.

First, let’s look at the business implications of increasing complexity of process compliance for financial institutions:

· Increased time and cost of compliance due to duplication of effort in conforming to regulatory requirements due to process changes driven by evolving regulatory mandates, shifting business priorities or internal/external audit requirements

· Delays in audit reporting due to quality issues in reconciling non-standard process KPIs and integrity concerns arising from the need to rely on multiple data sources for a given process

Next, let’s consider some approaches to managing the operational risk of business processes. Financial institutions considering reducing operational risk of their processes, generally speaking, have two choices:

· Rip-and-replace existing applications with new off-the shelf applications.

· Extend capabilities of existing applications by modeling their data and process interactions, with other applications or user-channels, outside of the application boundary using BPM.

The benefit of the first approach is that compliance with new regulatory requirements would be embedded within the boundaries of these applications. However pre-built compliance of any packaged application or custom-built application should not be mistaken as a one-shot fix for future compliance needs. The reason is that business needs and regulatory requirements inevitably out grow end-to-end capabilities of even the most comprehensive packaged or custom-built business application.

Thus, processes that originally resided within the application will eventually spill outside the application boundary. It is precisely at such hand-offs between applications or between overlaying processes where vulnerabilities arise to unknown and accidental faults that potentially result in errors and lead to partial or total failure.

The gist of the above argument is that processes which reside outside application boundaries, in other words, span multiple applications constitute a latent operational risk that spans the end-to-end value chain. For instance, distortion of data flowing from an account-opening application to a credit-rating system if left un-checked renders compliance with “KYC” policies void even when the “KYC” checklist was enforced at the time of data capture by the account-opening application.

Oracle Business Process Management is enabling financial institutions to lower operational risk of such process ”gaps” for Financial Services processes including “Customer On-boarding”, “Quote-to-Contract”, “Deposit/Loan Origination”, “Trade Exceptions”, “Interest Claim Tracking” etc.. If you are faced with a similar challenge and need any guidance on the same feel free to drop me a note.

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A business centric perspective on Private Cloud, Data-center Modernization and EAI.

Author:
Sanjeev Sharma
Twitter: @sanjeevio

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