The Institute of International Finance (IIF) and the Global Financial Markets Association (GFMA) have published a joint paper – “2021 Priorities for Strengthening Global Operational Resilience Maturity in Financial Services” – that sets out how to continuously improve and strengthen the level of operational resilience in the financial system for the benefit of customers, markets, and the broader economy in countries across the world.
Operational resilience focuses on the ability of firms and the financial system to deliver key services and continue to serve the needs of customers through disruptions. As such, the aim of operational resilience within the financial sector is ultimately to support financial stability and ensure proper functioning of markets to serve clients where they do business. The financial industry has historically invested, and continues to invest, significant time and resources on this extremely important topic. Authorities, in turn, are focused on operational resilience from the perspective of financial stability. Operational resilience has come into even sharper focus given the COVID-19 crisis, which has been a significant real-life operationally disruptive event for the economy, including financial institutions.
The paper calls on jurisdictions leading the development of approaches to operational resilience to continue to play an active role in global forums and relevant standard setting bodies, and collaborate with other public and private sector stakeholders via supervisory colleges, roundtables, or other forums to ensure that a globally coordinated and consistent approach is developed across the industry. It sets out five priorities to continue supporting the strengthening of operational resilience maturity in financial services.
1. Regulatory alignment and consistency are needed, internationally and within jurisdictions, with an emphasis on developing a unified global view on the outcomes being sought.
2. It is important to strive for a principles-based, risk-based, and outcomes-focused approach to support effective and globally consistent implementation.
3. Efforts should complement and leverage existing resilience-related regulations and expectations.
4. Continued global public-private collaboration will be vital.
5. Cross-sectoral collaboration and supervisory coordination are needed, including with financial market infrastructures (FMIs) and other third parties, to ensure operational resilience across the financial system.
The IIF will use these principles, and work with its member firms, to help facilitate the necessary ongoing collaboration with policymakers and all financial market participants as markets and conditions continue to evolve.