You can’t be a quality banker unless you have your head straight about risk. For that matter, if you don’t have a clear view and clean language about risk, you really can’t manage risk accurately. Solid risk management starts with having a common and accurate language about risk and the risk you are willing to take. For example, “risk tolerance,” “risk appetite,” “risk target,” “risk capacity” and “risk limit” are often used interchangeably, but they mean different things.
Tag: Enterprise Risk Management
In banking, we tend to think of risk as transactional in form. We contemplate what would happen if a loan defaulted if a cyber-attack occurred, if a new product caused a liability or if interest rates spiked. This is to say that we think of risk in the context of a particular event – if X happens, then Y risk will occur. The problem is that this event-driven mentality limits our thinking on risk. Risk is present no matter if it is monetized or not. Rising interest rates does not create risk; it just monetizes it.
Banks that are looking to enhance their risk management practices should consider incorporating the concept of the velocity of risk into their enterprise-wide risk management practices. The topic is germane as with the rise of the Trump Administration and the growth of social media, a company or industry can wake up one morning and find out that they are in the cross hairs of a Tweet torrent.
Contrary to popular belief, risk isn’t something to avoid. Risk is not even an element to minimize. This is counterintuitive as most bankers are taught to avoid and minimize risk. For that matter, most regulators, board members, and investors also reinforce this notion. Take for instance the dozen of credit parameters like maximum loan-to-value (LTV) that are hard and fast rules regardless of the quality or trend of the collateral value and absent of any analysis on pricing.
There is a trendy restaurant in New York City that temporarily changed its menu to serve food composed entirely of garbage. The idea was to highlight the amount of food that is wasted worldwide. Food waste happens for different reasons in different places – in developing countries, difficulty with storage and refrigeration are the problem. In developed countries, aesthetic standards are the primary culprit, and changing this perception was the goal of the experiment.
It is normal for stock markets to fluctuate, interest rates to vacillate, oil priced to decline and China’s economic growth forecasts to be adjusted (those numbers are mostly made up anyway). However, the recent behavior in the above mentioned markets is much more volatile than anything experienced over the last few years, and this turmoil is going to change lending and borrowing behavior. Loan terms, floors, rate resets and debt levels have already been chanced.
Tomorrow night’s Powerball lottery will be the world’s richest at an estimated $1.4B. Bankers, despite the odds, are even buying tickets both individually and in syndicates. The ironic part is that with such a big pot, the odds of you winning don’t change (still 1 in 292 million, or about the same as a quarter coming up heads 28 times in a row), but the expected winnings actually go down with a larger jackpot, not up. The higher number of players increases the odds of you splitting the jackpot.
Our banking industry has our loan loss allowance provisioning almost exactly wrong. To quote our favorite show, Game of Thrones, winter is coming. We don’t know when the cold weather will be here, maybe the first part of October or maybe around Halloween, but we know it’s coming. Since winter is coming, the question arises - How many coats should we have for the winter? For that answer, we simply look at the data and see what the average daytime temperature over the past three months has been. We see it is a warm 81 degrees.
Two risk managers were discussing their fear of flying and crashing to their deaths in an airplane. One of the risk managers stated that he had a morbid fear of being on a plane that is blown up by an onboard bomb. The second risk manager asked how he handled this fear, to which the first risk manager replied - “Simple, I bring on board with me a bomb that I have control over, and of course I would never detonate it.” “How does that help?” said the second risk manager. The first risk manager replied, “The chanc
Below you can download an Excel worksheet that will help you calculate the cost of your capital. Your cost of capital is important to know for several reasons. Mostly, it gives your board and shareholders a yardstick in which to gauge a bank’s return. Produce over your cost of capital and you will be able to attract more capital. Produce under and, well, you are going to have to do some good marketing to talk investors into believing you are better than the next similar investment alternative.