As we finally take the first steps to returning to a more stable state of work beyond lockdown, it is already clear that the landscape has changed and will be in flux for quite some time.
Having said that, it is not all doom & gloom and as ever in any period of major change new opportunities will be in reach for those who are awake & open to the resulting new trends.
From an Employment & Recruitment perspective, new areas of specialism were already emerging before the crisis and if anything, the impetus for these has only solidified.
- Data Protection & IT Risk Governance
Scrutiny of IT Risk Governance was already a focus of the Central Bank with a new ‘Controlled Function’ status for the CIO role proposed with this in mind.
Given technology risk has only been heightened by the temporary & likely long term move towards remote working this will continue to be a focus for organisations & the regulator.
- Operational Resilience
The area of Operational Risk had already taken on significant elevated status given the aforementioned Cyber Security focus but also regarding the area of BCP.
Enterprises are now moving towards a more holistic approach where all these elements are intertwined & dealt with cross functionally under the umbrella of Operational Risk.
Again, this crisis has shone the most intense of spotlights on BCP frameworks with this likely to continue post-crisis – a 2nd wave couldn’t be placed in the ‘unlikely’ category by anyone at this point.
As an aside, the focus for BCP has moved towards remote options & cloud solutions rather than just out-of-town emergency facilities of before.
- Environmental,Social & Governance (ESG)
With Sustainable Finance/Investing now firmly on the global radar, EU legislation has begun to follow.
Criteria to govern whether activities are environmentally sustainable are being put in place to oversee if the green credentials of banking or investment activities stand up to scrutiny – the EU being determined to avoid any attempts at so-called ‘green washing’.
New opportunities should emerge in terms of Compliance with these regulations going forward.
Closer to home, the Green slant on the new program for (likely) government formation looks set to intensify this trend here on the Irish scene in particular.
All in all, our own Central Bank has been key in preparing us for this crisis due to the lessons learned from the last one. Adding to their increased scrutiny mentioned above in the IT Risk, Operational Risk & BCP areas there has also been a keen focus on Liquidity Risk.
This has been across the board – for investment funds, retail banks & insurance companies – and has left those industries far better prepared for the current liquidity shock.
Given that the Central Bank have been largely proven correct with their prescient outlook on all these factors it could only serve as beneficial for anyone to pay attention to regulations in the pipeline. Industry have every reason to continue diligent compliance going forward.
In this time of heightened threats, the need for high calibre Risk & Compliance professionals in all areas has never been greater.
Senior Recruitment Consultant