FinTech North News and Regional FinTech Developments

Increasing Operational Resilience Webinar Write-Up

On the 8th of February, FinTech North, in partnership with payments automation experts and one of Manchester’s rising FinTech stars, AccessPay, hosted an eye-opening webinar on an extremely hot topic that everyone is talking about  – operational resilience. Whether you’re a FinTech specialist or a professional in another field, operational resilience is broad reaching and should be on the minds of all businesses, irrespective of sector.

For those who missed the event, FinTech North has produced a write-up of the event and provided the full recording of the event.

Joe Roche, General Manager at FinTech North kicked off the session by introducing the organisation and welcoming panellists and attendees. He then gave an overview of FinTech North, its current activity and plans for the year ahead, before handing over to Wayne Scott, Regulatory Compliance Solutions Lead at NCC Group Software Resilience to set the scene.

Wayne provided a historical backdrop, referencing the 2008 financial crash and subsequent changes in outsourcing practices. He illustrated the significance of operational failures, particularly in IT, on the UK economy. Wayne underscored the need for regulation to act as a safety net, especially with the emergence of new competitors in the market. He discussed the role of regulations like DORA (Digital Operational Resilience Act) in identifying and addressing new risks.

Tom Livock, SVP Account Management and Enterprise Sales at AccessPay was next to speak, discussing the drive to payments automation and the intersection between operational resilience and UK SOx compliance. He briefly provided a broad overview of what AccessPay specialise in, including their experience with bank connectivity. He shared results from their recent survey, which saw operational resilience and cyber security as highly important to respondents in financial transformation. Exemplifying the financial collapse of several large organisations, he highlighted the ever-present importance of payments automation in improving payment control.

Next, Raj Kohli, Director at DCR Partners, presented a segment on strategy and resilience by design – stressing that there is no ‘one size fits all’ option. He focused on enhancing decision-making processes by bridging the gap between commercial reality and risk management. He discussed the complexities of operational resilience and the steps organisations could take to improve it. Raj stressed the importance of proactive anticipation, prevention, and mitigation of problems, along with adaptability and innovation.

After some truly though-evoking opening presentations, Angela Yore, Managing Director and Co-Founder at SkyParlour introduced herself as chair of the panel discussion, before inviting Jackie Kingham, Non-Executive Director at and former Director, Global COO Corporate Bank Risk Management Solutions at Deutsche Bank to discuss her work and personal experiences relating to operational resilience.

Jackie discussed the importance of having robust planning and response strategies in place for various scenarios. She emphasised the need for a playbook to guide actions during crises, considering primary and secondary risks, including financial impacts and reputational damage. Angela expertly guided the panel through a seamless conversation, talking about personal learning experiences that encouraged them to increase their own operational resilience.

The panel enthusiastically discussed operational resilience as being paramount to business success – Angela referred to financial services as ‘the fourth utility’, wittily describing this as parallel to ‘Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs’.

The members of the panel each shared a  word of advice on operational resilience, stressing themes including the importance of clear responsibilities, building relationships with stakeholders, and embracing regulatory changes early. Tom emphasised the importance of strong payment controls in addressing operational resilience, while Raj highlighted the cultural aspect of resilience starting from the top. Jackie underscored the impact of operational resilience on every function within an organisation, emphasising the need for robust governance and accountability.

As the webinar drew to a close, the audience were reminded of the criticality of operational resilience in navigating the dynamic financial environment. The speakers’ insights and practical strategies served as valuable guides for organisations seeking to enhance their operational resilience capabilities.

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