Investigating threats to the bank

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Just over a year ago, I joined ABN AMRO Digital Banking. My job involves assessing all types of digital risk incurred by the bank, its clients and employees. My tasks include everything from analysing legislation to giving training sessions on data and privacy, and even advising on our emergency response team.

Together with a group of colleagues, I analyse a range of legislation to determine how it translates into risks and opportunities for us. Danique van Koppenhagen Digital Expert, Risk

Minimising risks

Risk management means identifying risks and taking the necessary measures to minimise them. All of us weigh the pros and cons of the choices we make every day whether we’re aware of it or not. Should or shouldn’t I set this glass of water on top of that stack of plates? Do I take the car, which will give me greater flexibility, or just catch the train, which means I won’t have to risk ending up in a traffic jam? Obviously, our department looks at issues which are a bit more detailed and complex than these, but you get the idea. We also support the business in taking appropriate risks. We deal with legislation, technology, internal policy and changes in the market. Most importantly, we never lose sight of who we’re doing it all for: the client.

Analysing legislation

We use the Three Lines of Defence model, a risk management benchmark, at ABN AMRO. In the first line, the business is responsible for the risks incurred. The second line, which includes legal and operational risk management, makes assessments and queries. Audit, the third line, checks retrospectively all the processes implemented. I work in the first line. Together with a group of colleagues, I analyse a range of legislation, such as the law on privacy coming into effect in the Netherlands in 2018. We then provide bank staff with training on the requirements the law imposes so that product owners can ensure their apps and processes are compliant. We also follow current affairs closely. For instance, does the new Dutch government’s coalition agreement include issues which could result in the bank’s incurring additional risks?

Keeping an eye on PSD2

One of the projects I’m working on involves the new European payment legislation known as PSD2. As from 2018, this law will require all European banks to provide companies with access to their clients’ transaction data as long as they give their consent. My job is to look at the risks and opportunities this change will create for ABN AMRO. I’m also taking part in a number of interest groups and help reply to specific written queries. For example, a law states that the bank has to do X, but after an initial analysis of the legislation, market players say it might actually need to do Y. In some cases, the law may have to be amended.

Never a dull moment

Lots of people think risk management must be dry as dust. But not me! No two days are ever the same here, precisely because risk is a very diverse field. Just imagine: making sure Digital Banking has an adequate emergency response team is part of risk management, too. Just like brainstorming on the authentication tools we use for Internet banking and our apps, like the e.dentifier. Or forecasting the impact a nationwide teachers’ strike could have on our organisation. Would such an event put a strain on our employees and, consequently, on the continuity of our business? We also report to management on a regular basis. All that and more in a dynamic environment with fun co-workers!

Would you, too, like to help minimise risk and thus contribute to ABN AMRO’s online service offering? Perhaps as a risk analyst or portfolio consultant? Why not check out our current job openings?.


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