Overview of the Risk EMEA Conference 21-22 October 2020

Updated: Oct 29, 2020

Last week, the Tribus team attended their first virtual conference put on by Cefpro. As expected, the transfer to a virtual event reduced the networking opportunities but this was more than made up for by some excellent speakers. Enough was covered across the two mornings that it would be impossible to summarise in a snappy blog, so we have split it into two separate blogs covering areas that we focus on as a consultancy (click on the headings to open the blogs):

  1. What does 2021 hold in store for credit risk management?

  2. Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) Issues Impacting Credit Risk


In addition to the above, there was a very interesting opening debate on “developing and promoting risk culture agendas aligning conduct”. Key takeaways included:

  • Culture is all about “the way we do things around here”. The first line is often 10x bigger in number of personnel than the second line. It’s not possible to watch over peoples’ shoulder (in a big brother style) and so culture will act as a framework on acceptable behaviour

  • Risk culture and conduct may require different approaches across regions but needs to be globally consistent

  • A good cultural framework will provide psychological safety for staff to make decisions - this is crucial as the way firms treat their staff will have a significant impact on the way the staff treat their customers

  • Articulating culture, whilst not simple, is easier than measuring it. It often defies direct measurement (people will behave differently if they know they are being watched after all!) and so unobtrusive indicators of culture (e.g. satisfaction scores, complaints etc.) need to be used.

  • The response to the current health crisis, most notably working from home, poses significant risks to a strong risk culture. With staff working remotely from each. Other and mainly interacting through email and conference calls, the little everyday processes and controls that shape how the culture is embedded in the organisation are broken up. This can undermine the psychological safety that the culture provides, especially for less experienced or new staff, and thus impacts on customer experience.

  • The environment created by the current crisis (which is expected to continue into 2021) also means that people fear for the stability of their jobs. They will be less likely to rock the boat and call out inappropriate behaviour or, where appropriate, whistleblow.

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