Littleton, Mass. â September 26, 2005 â FRS, a leading global provider of enterprise risk and regulatory compliance solutions and a business unit of S1 Corporation (Nasdaq: SONE), today unveiled the FRS Active Guidance Catalogue, an aggregation of "best practices" as defined by standards bodies, such as COSO, FFIEC, UBPR, OCC, and PCAOB, and learned through successful customer implementations. A repository of hundreds of pre-defined objectives, risks, controls and actions, the Active Guidance Catalogue answers financial institutionsâ call for a resource that will accelerate the enterprise-wide adoption of a consistent control and self-assessment framework that supports multiple compliance initiatives.
The financial services industry faces an operational risk management (ORM) "best practices" challenge. Building a control and self-assessment framework from the ground up can be arduous and time-intensive, and few resources exist for defining risk and controls across multiple initiatives, such as Basel II, Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX), COBiT, Graham Leach Bliley (GLBA), Patriot Act, Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation Improvement Act (FDICIA). Additionally, few comparables exist for institutions to evaluate themselves against peers for risk definitions and mitigants.
FRS RiskResolve is the only ORM and compliance solution that tightly integrates control self-assessment and loss and event assessment, providing a closed-loop framework for identifying, assessing and documenting risks and internal controls across multiple compliance initiatives. Its unique Active Risk Managementâ¢ approach transforms self-assessments from a static process into an active one that empowers and holds accountable all managers in the risk management cycle. Through the FRS Active Guidance Catalogue delivered with RiskResolveâ¢, FRS is bringing to market a solution to this pressing problem.
"Across a broader context of operational risk management, controls self-assessment is a function in dire need of automation. However, in practical implementation, controls self-assessment that cuts across compliance mandates and operational risk purposes represents a daunting challenge due to the lack of a straightforward roadmap," said Virginia Garcia, Director, Financial Services Strategies and IT Investments, at TowerGroup. "Regardless of size, financial institutions need solutions that offer a defined set of best practices upon which they can build risk and controls definitions and classifications, while providing dynamic support for changing regulatory directives."
The Active Guidance Catalogue equips institutions with a common set of best practices for compliance and deployment which were identified by FRS based on its deep understanding of the way financial institutions conduct business, an extensive knowledge of the regulatory environment, industry standards and the usage patterns of the RiskResolve customer base. FRS evaluated many thousands of actions and distilled them down to a single repository consisting of approximately 350 risks, 600 controls and 100 actions that will provide financial institutions a critical foundation for establishing and customizing an effective framework for improving operational efficiency, adhering to regulatory requirements and mitigating risks.
"We, as so many institutions, faced the challenge of building our control and self-assessment framework in the absence of having any true outside references for defining risks and controls. We had no industry best practices to refer to when examining how we wanted to expand our collection and reporting data," said Bob Angarola, Managing Director and Chief Internal Control Officer at Calyon Americas, the regional component of Calyon, a global corporate and investment bank with assets of approximately $380 billion and a wholly owned subsidiary of Credit Agricole. "We believe that FRS has taken a good approach to identifying, capturing and packaging these best practices. Its RiskResolve Active Guidance Catalogue can significantly ease customersâ struggles to rapidly deploy an ORM framework and achieve consistency across organizational structures."
The Catalogue has been uniquely designed to guide institutions through the processes of consistently classifying risks and controls and organizing their databases, and assist institutions in answering critical questions, such as how to achieve compliance, under what COSO examination category a risk falls and how to align risks with regulations. Leveraging the FRS Active Guidance Catalogue, financial institutions will be empowered to:
Â· Accelerate the Rate of Adoption â Institutions can rapidly deploy a consistent set of objectives, risks, controls and actions across their organizations and reduce the costs of implementation, while consolidating multiple compliance initiatives.
Â· Identify Operational Efficiency â A risk-based view provides management a new lens for examining existing and potential processes and can reveal potential weaknesses.
Â· Mitigate Risk â The Catalogue encompasses industry standards, risks, controls and classifications that streamline control self-assessments.
Â· Increase Management Control â Senior management and business line managers can make operational and strategic decisions based on consistent risks and controls. Additionally, common definitions of risks and controls can facilitate regulatory reporting.
FRS is currently providing the Active Guidance Catalogue as part of the RiskResolve solution, residing at customer sites. Overtime, the Company intends to evolve multiple catalogues into a library of best practices that keep pace with regulatory changes as they occur, and reflect ongoing customer experiences.
"The Active Guidance Catalogue has been specifically designed to fill a void in the industry for a packaged solution of proven best practices that will streamline the implementation of an ORM framework," said Dr. Edward Shea, Director, Product Strategy, FRS. "We are providing a springboard from which institutions can quickly deploy and evolve comprehensive and complete control and self-assessment environments."