The paper overviews the application of existing actuarial techniques to operational risk. It considers how, working in conjunction with other experts, actuaries can develop a new framework to monitor/review, establish context, identify, understand and decide what to do in terms of the management and mitigation of operational risk. It suggests categorisations of risk to help analyses and proposes how new risk indicators may be needed, in conjunction with more normal quantification approaches.
Using a case study, it explores the application of stress and scenario testing, statistical curve fitting (including the application of extreme value theory), causal (Bayesian) modelling and the extension of dynamic financial analysis to include operational risk. It suggests there is no one correct approach and that the choice of parameters and modelling assumptions is critical. It lists a number of other techniques for future consideration.
There is a section about how ‘soft issues’ including dominance risk, the impact of belief systems and culture, the focus of performance management systems and the psychology of organisations affect operational risk. An approach to rating the people aspects of risk in parallel with quantification may help give a better overall assessment of risk and improve the understanding for capital implications.
The paper concludes with a brief review of implications for reporting and considers what future work will help develop the actuarial contribution. It is hoped the paper will sow seeds for the development of best practice in dealing with operational risk and increase the interest of actuaries in this emerging new topic.