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Upturn in Board-Level Buy-in for Basel II Operational Risk

London - 25 July 2005

A recent survey conducted by Chase Cooper and published in their newsletter, "Corporate Challenges", reports a significant upturn in the buy-in for operational risk at board level. Results from the survey, conducted with 47 financial sector firms during Q2 this year, shows that 59% of senior management are now taking an active interest and involvement, an increase from 22% for the previous survey conducted in 2004.

Commenting on the results, Zag Asghar, joint CEO of the London-based business solutions provider, said, "It appears to be a real sea change in the sector. Senior management are really beginning to recognise the significant business benefits in terms of real monetary value as well as regulatory compliance a comprehensive operational risk management programme can deliver. In the midst of growing concerns in the sector about regulatory overload, these results are encouraging."

As far as the regulatory requirements for Basel II and the additional requirements from the FSA are concerned, the survey revealed that three-quarters of firms considered the UK regulator as not being "prescriptive enough" in its guidelines. "Our results show that guidelines are fine if ambiguity or interpretation are not an issue", said Asghar, "But in the case of Basel II, many of the respondents were of the firm opinion that more clarity was required in many instances for compliance with appropriate recommendations."