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Operational resilience: Essential for financial firms

November 12, 2020


In brief

A well-designed approach to embedding operational resilience can not only meet new requirements, but also enhance business outcomes.

Board oversight

Regulatory expectations focus on embedding resilience as part of the board culture, and better equipping board and management teams to strive toward continuity of critical business services. This presents firms an opportunity to improve governance by coordinating responsibilities across the enterprise.

Important business services

As COVID-19 triggers seismic shifts to business and operating models, firms can evaluate important business services to be sure they balance granularity, relevance and flexibility. They can review the full chain of activities, plus dependencies on third parties, and re-assess elements critical to service delivery.

Impact tolerance

Meeting a stated tolerance at a service level, and on an end-to-end process basis, would require a step-change in approach far beyond ticking a compliance checklist. To get there, firms can consider a combination of metrics such as the duration of downtime, volume and value affected, to help reduce customer impact from service disruptions.

Scenario development and testing

The pandemic highlights a need to place equal weight on technology risks and people risks. Firms should incorporate learnings from scenario development and recalibrate scenarios to place more emphasis on human factors. They can also focus on testing and exercising to mitigate threats from people, processes, resources and third-party suppliers.

Third-party risks

The pandemic shines a light on third parties, many of whom helped firms—particularly smaller ones—adapt quickly. COVID-19 also shows how material risks can arise from more “analogue” channels such as people risks, locational footprint and offshoring operations. These reinforce the need for a robust contractual framework.

Make operational resilience your business outcome

About the Authors


Managing Director – Strategy & Consulting

Rafael Gomes

Managing Director – Strategy & Consulting


Senior Manager – Finance & Risk


Director – Strategy & Consulting

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