Wednesday 5 June 2019 1:02 am

Financial services firms should treat operational resilience as 'commercial imperative', report says

Financial services firms need to treat operational resilience as a “commercial imperative”, according to a report published today.

The industry has to face threats ranging from climate change, cybercrime and complex supply chains to technological innovation and ageing legacy systems, the report said.

The report from lobby group City UK and audit firm PwC said financial services firms and regulators are well-placed to boost operational resilience.

They said the positive impacts of doing so include more sustainable performance, leadership in the global context and boosting the reputation of the UK as an investment destination.

City UK chief executive Miles Celic said: “Operational resilience is not a choice, it is a commercial imperative… Firms that maintain safety and efficiency through a crisis will have a clear commercial advantage and be more sustainable over the long term. Those who don’t, might not last very long.”

Simon Chard, financial services partner at PwC, said, “Technological advances are a double-edged sword for the industry as consumers and businesses demand more tailored, more efficient and more secure technology.”

“The upsides of automation and artificial intelligence can be offset by firms’ vulnerability to attacks, system outages or simple human error. Current market conditions mean that the risk and potential impact of these events is growing.”

The pair recommend firms focus on five areas: innovation and technological change, good governance, good regulation and connectedness.

They say the five core areas of risk to firms’ operational resilience are cybercrime, climate change, technological innovation, rising connectedness and managing change.