MANAGING RISK FOR THE DIGITAL AGE
In a world where daily functions are increasingly being carried out online, few areas carry as many potential benefits as digital banking. But with those benefits come risks, and that is where Parker Fitzgerald can help.
Parker Fitzgerald is an award-winning risk management consultancy operating in the financial sector at the sharp end of risk, regulation and innovation. “It is an increasingly hot topic,” says partner David Northen. “This is a very interesting world where everything is changing. It’s ideal for graduates who are interested in the digital space.”
Among the most significant risks in digital finance are “customer fraud, cyberfraud, mis-selling and misuse of data”. As Northen explains: “Cyberfraud gets the headlines but it is not the only risk with the digitising of financial services – other waves will soon be coming across the beach. One is the increasing prevalence of fraud when customers do not need face-to-face interaction with the bank. There’s also the issue of ensuring that banks do not misuse customer data, and there are conduct implications such as mis-selling, which has cost billions in compensation. Banks are very keen to do the right thing so the customer can be sure the product is good for them and not just good for the bank.”
Parker Fitzgerald helps in a variety of ways. “Our primary role is to offer advice through our experts,” says Northen. “We have specialists in fraud and leading industry figures in cyber vulnerability, who have years of experience. We have regulatory experts who advise people about what is coming from the EU and how they need to adapt. We also have close relationships with law firms and software providers that work in this area.”
With Parker Fitzgerald’s advice, financial institutions will be better placed to deal with risk and take advantage of digital innovation. “One area is data analytics,” says Northen, “assessing the customers’ profile and exploring their trust footprint. With the right digital strategy you can get a better idea of who you may be lending money to. That can make a massive difference.”
The company has offices in London, New York, Amsterdam and Singapore but is still growing rapidly, so employees have direct access to partners and experts who are working with both the world’s largest financial institutions and emerging digital innovators. These experts are experienced but also happy to listen to younger “digital natives” who have grown up in the digital world. “They understand the mindset and expectation of digital culture,” says Northen, “and what they expect from the way they live their lives.”
This means the company would suit the more “innovative, entrepreneurial graduate, who wants to assume a much more active role in the shaping and growth of the organisation”, while exploring one of the world’s most rapidly evolving industries. For Northen, this is hugely exciting territory.
“We can help clients become brand leaders and for emerging brands to achieve brand status,” he says. “Look at how quickly firms like Uber and Airbnb have transformed their markets. Reputational impact can spread in minutes so you have to get it right and, if you do, you can become a digital brand icon.”