parascosa Consulting


Operational Risk


Just a few years ago 'risk' within financial services meant credit risk and market risk, with liquidity risk emerging as a separate discipline in its own right. All other risks fell under the aegis of various different departments, if anywhere. People risks were looked after by the HR departments, systems risks were the concern of the IT department and the Organisation annd Methods team looked at the risks surrounding processes. In recent years the interconnections between these various risks have come to be recognised and the concept of operational risk has grown to draw all of these risks together and to identify the potential impact that they have on the more traditional risks.

I can help you to look at the overall governance that acts as the 'glue' to bring together the various elements of your risk framework or to help you build the individual elements of that framework. I have carried out interim management roles, both in governance and operational risk, facing off to business units and helping them to identify, assess and monitor their risks, as well as identifying and creating appropriate controls to mitigate those risks.

Below you will find some examples of the work that I have done in this area:



As interim Head of Governance for the whole company I was responsible for:

  • thought-leadership on good governance and risk management throughout the company;

  • creation and roll-out of a communication plan for risk and governance across the company (including Basel II and SOX);

  • design and roll-out of an accreditation programme on risk management and governance;

  • standardisation of tools and templates for use throughout company and introduction of change control for these;

  • creation of effectiveness check-lists for Entity Level Controls for SOX compliance.

This role, within a team of 20, involved liaison with staff at all levels in the organisation, including discussions with Board members re approach and prioritisation.

I designed and implemented an integrated governance and risk dashboard for the Operating Committee of the Corporate and Investment Banking division. This pulled together all aspects of Operational Risk (risks, controls and incidents), assurance and governance and was supported by a comprehensive set of Key Risk Indicators and governance components.

Group Operations is the power-house of the bank, responsible for all in-sourced services for the three main customer-facing Divisions. As interim Head of Operational Risk within Group Operations I was responsible for helping the risk function to take the next step on the journey to become fully devolved into the business. This involved changing the role of the department from a collection of risk partners and practice leaders into a Risk Academy, establishing best practice and developing staff by way of secondments and other training and by creating close links with the Institute of Risk Management.

One cornerstone of this Risk Academy is a Risk Practitioner Programme, accredited by City & Guilds. Other modules, included Financial Sanctions, AML and Internal Fraud.

I also redesigned and documented the processes within the Regulation and Policy Compliance team.


Interim management position as Risk Partner within a team of 16, responsible for helping Board and programme managers within a Business Unit to identify and manage all operational risks. Role included:

  • defining and refining controls to meet regulatory requirements;

  • helping business to define business continuity plans;

  • working with business to develop risk and governance maturity model;

  • development of an accreditation system for business risk awareness;

  • development and implementation of a risk communications plan.


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