Global Banking Report Finds Industry Struggling to Calculate Real-time Market and Credit Risk

Quartet FS, a specialist provider of business intelligence and analytics technology, has released its ‘Risk in Global Banking Report’, which found that global risk managers are struggling to calculate market and credit risk in real time. The report is based on research conducted with senior risk managers from global banking operations and provides insight into current views on risk management trends, practices and challenges in the new financial services era.

When asked how difficult it is to manage the different types of risk, 68% of respondents think counterparty risk is by far the most difficult type of risk to manage, followed by liquidity (59%) and then credit risk (54%). While market risk is viewed as the least difficult to manage, the research finds that half of all respondents want market risk calculations per new deal to be conducted in under 10 seconds, i.e. true real time. Yet, at present, only 20% can conduct market risk calculations per new deal in real time and 40% are only able to conduct the calculations overnight.

The research also finds that the need for real-time calculations is also important for credit risk with nearly a third saying that ideally they would like sub-10 second calculations for Credit: PFE Impact and Credit: CVA Impact per new deal. However, in reality, none of the respondents can calculate Credit: CVA Impact – per new deal in real time and 79% are still conducting calculations overnight. Similarly, for Credit: PFE Impact – per new deal, only 15% can achieve under 10 second calculations with 55% still processing overnight.

Xavier Bellouard, co-founder at Quartet FS, said: “If one lesson has been learnt from the experiences of the past few years it is that navigating today’s markets without the ability to understand and manage risk intraday is the biggest risk of all. The business implications of these findings are clear: the majority of financial institutions cannot calculate the true risk of new deals to their business intraday which means that they continue to work with stale, inaccurate data.

“In our experience of working with global financial institutions both before and since the crisis, we have witnessed changes in behaviour with real-time risk intelligence becoming a strategic goal for many financial institutions, particularly within the trading and capital markets arena. Against this backdrop, we have sought to obtain insights and opinions from the people ‘on the coalface’ – risk managers in global financial institutions who are dealing with the question of how best to manage risk within today’s volatile markets every day.”

The research underpinning the ‘Risk in Global Banking Report’ also finds that:

  • Eighty-six percent believe the financial crisis has strongly increased the influence of risk management, with 81% agreeing that the board takes a much greater interest in risk.
  • Sixty-three percent strongly believe that risk management processes are now more widely used in the front office and 54% think the crisis has led to greater collaboration between traders and risk managers.
  • The crisis has also led to new risk management processes being introduced, according to 63% of respondents.
  • The burden of regulatory pressure is seen as the strongest reason to innovate in risk management (68%), followed by the need to better manage risk (50%).
  • The two most important drivers for real-time risk management in the industry are pricing both portfolio impact and counterparty exposure impact into quotes or trades.
  • The top two limitations of traditional risk management systems are the lack of flexibility (62%) and the fact that they are too slow (57%) to deal with today’s market requirements.


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