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OCC director to headline annual risk management forum

In April, executives for banks, hedge funds and other financial institutions will gather in Orlando, Fla. to discuss risk management and a host of other data governance issues at the annual American Bankers Association’s Risk Management Forum. And, this year, the keynote speaker will be Thomas Curry, who heads the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency.

At the forum, held between April 9 and 11, Comptroller Curry will be on hand to help provide bankers and leaders of buy-side financial institutions with the tools they need to improve their overall risk management programs.

Curry was sworn in as the 30th Comptroller of the Currency in April 2012. The OCC, as many financial professionals may already know, is responsible for overseeing approximately 2,000 national banks and federal savings associations, as well as 50 federal branches and agencies of foreign banks that operate in the U.S.

Approximately one year ago in April, Curry’s title was expanded, as he was named chairman of the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council. Though former heads of the FFIEC have often come from different federal organizations, this is the fifth time that the OCC chair has served as the head.

Curry’s experience with data and financial records management is substantial. Prior to his current titles, in 2004, he led the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation as director. Additionally before joining the FDIC’s board of directors, he assisted five Massachusetts governors, serving as the Commonwealth’s Commissioner of Banks from 1990 to 1991, then an eight-year stint between 1995 and 2003.

Other noteworthy workshops scheduled
ABA noted that there are plenty of other risk management issues that will be discussed during the three-day program. These include putting stress tests to practical, everyday use; what specific compliance issues executives need to be mindful of in 2014; how to manage interest rate risk and how to fight cross channel fraud.

The ABA Risk Management Forum this year also has a “dive” theme – in other words, the classes and demonstrations will help professionals to more fully immerse themselves in how to manage risk. The first so-called “Deep Dive” session is called “Life Cycle of Third Party Risk Management.” The second is “Getting to ‘Strong’ in Risk Management” and the third is “New and Emerging Issues in Managing Operational Risk.

More specific details about what’s on tap at the forum can be found at ABA’s website.

Risk management and compliance has taken on greater significance and intrigue in the wake of the London Interbank Offered Rate benchmark rigging scandal. Buy-side financial institutions have committed additional resources to adhering to data integrity practices, as regulators have implemented some of the suggestions on how to more effectively reform the Euro Interbank Offered Rate so that manipulation is more difficult to carry out.

Though more changes are needed, some of the reforms that have been implemented include reducing the number of steering committee members affiliated with panel banks, increasing the number of meetings that they hold and cutting the number of tenors from 15 to eight, according to the European Banking Authority.

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