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22 April 2015

Frontline bank managers "need to be convinced of risk management's value"

Content team

A new survey of risk managers in the banking sector has revealed that convincing frontline managers of the importance of risk management is a top priority.

Carried out at the American Bankers Association (ABA) Risk Management Forum in St Louis last week, the poll revealed many bank managers see risk management as a "bureaucratic impediment to doing business", the Wall Street Journal reports.

Ryan Rasske, senior vice-president for risk and compliance with the ABA, stated: "The frontline people are still evaluated on revenue performance, and when you bring risk into the discussion, it’s a direct conflict."

Steven Deaton, executive vice-president and chief risk officer with State Bank and Trust STBZ, suggested he has concerns about the "short-term memory of bankers" due to the fact lower interest rates, longer terms and looser covenants present an emerging risk.

Brian Williams, executive vice-president and chief risk officer at FirstMerit, revealed the organisation is utilising tactics such as appointing risk liaisons for certain business units. The people in these roles are responsible for risk management and embedding risk managers in areas where critical threats have been identified.

“Our biggest goal to take the programme to the next level is to make sure risk management is perceived as bringing actual value,” Mr Williams stated.

The only threat that was rated as more of a priority than improving risk management's perception among frontline managers was cyber security, which poses a growing threat to the financial services industry with each passing year.

In March, a survey released by the Risk Management Association revealed being able to effectively manage third-party and vendor risk is also one of the top priorities for financial organisations at present.

Content team, Bureau van Dijk

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