While there has been a lot of discussion as to what constitutes a three lines of defence model, there remains across all industries and especially within financial services, little understanding of the ramifications of actually implementing a risk agnostic, organisation-wide three lines of defence model.
Drawing upon its experiences in working with a wide range of firms across the globe, of different size, complexity and management structure, RiskBusiness
has established a step-by-step guide to help firms establish a robust, proactive three lines of defence model which can stand the test of time. The resultant approach allows for custom models – there is no one size fits all – which have been tried and tested in corporate entities, banks, insurers, asset managers and other firms.
“Three lines of defence is not about risk management,” states Mike Finlay, chief executive of RiskBusiness
International. “You cannot try and apply a model that affects corporate structure, individual accountability and, as a consequence, corporate culture by thinking it is a risk management initiative – even worse if you think it only applies to operational risk and perhaps to the compliance function. Three lines of defence is integral to the DNA of the firm, it starts with the vision, mission and values, flows through corporate governance, corporate strategy and overall business objectives into the everyday functioning and decision making of the entire enterprise. It is all about the core principles we base our business on – and how we measure ourselves against the achievement of those principles and our business objectives.”
Global regulation, particularly in the financial services industry, is increasingly focussing on good governance and how the Board and executive management behave and run the enterprise. To comply with the ever increasing volume of regulation and to achieve the firm’s potential, every enterprise should implement a robust governance structure which embraces the three lines of defence concept, making this guidance an invaluable resource for every firm, irrespective of geography, size or nature.
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