Professor Moorad Choudhry’s online program Market, Credit & Operational Risk Management at Amsterdam Institute of Finance will teach participants to manage three critical areas of banking risk. 

Professor Moorad Choudhry says while credit risk, market risk, and operational risk are “three different beasts”, senior managers within banks need to have a grip on all three, not to mention liquidity risk as well. 

His banking risk course, aptly titled Market, Credit & Operational Risk Management, will be presented online for the Amsterdam Institute of Finance from 4 to 12 October 2021 (divided over four half-day sessions). It aims to give participants a deep and broad understanding of three critical types of bank risk and how they fit into banks’ overall risk management frameworks. “These risks are the most significant drivers of bank regulatory capital requirement, and banks recognize the need to manage these risks as efficiently as possible as part of a drive to improve their performance,” Moorad explains. 

Managing risk in a post-pandemic world 

The Covid-19 pandemic, and the lockdowns it triggered, took the world by storm and the banking industry was not spared. Moorad points out that no bank had lockdowns included in their risk plans, but they are now even more focused on risk management than ever before, dedicating more time and resources to building more resilient frameworks. 

Moorad has been teaching part-time for 23 years, during which time he’s worked in senior positions at various banks around the world. His practical and wide-ranging experience has given him insight into how different banks operate, and of the interplay between the key banking risk types. He is an independent non-executive director at Recognise Bank in London and at the Loughborough Building Society, and the author The Principles of Banking

Previously, he was treasurer of the Corporate Banking Division at The Royal Bank of Scotland, and he holds an MBA from Henley Business School and a PhD from Birkbeck, University of London. 

“All banks and all economies, and all industries around the world have had to work through a completely unforeseen stress event in the last 12 months,” Moorad says. “Globally, it’s affected markets and it’s impacted different economic players in different ways, and yet it was completely unforeseen – completely unexpected. It wouldn’t have been in any bank scenario – a pandemic that resulted in lockdown and enforced home working. No-one had stress tested for this, no-one had scenario played this. The lessons we’ve all had to try to learn from this are to be ready to respond quickly to unforeseen events, and to make sure we have a governance framework and a risk management decision making framework in place that enables us to respond quickly and make decisions quickly.” 

His advice to banks is to chart a path forward, examining how risk tools like stress testing, scenario analysis and capital allocation will change in the post-pandemic world, and how to implement good practice accordingly. 

Combining risk theory with a practical approach 

“My aim with this course is to help people to understand key banking risks as well as how to incorporate this knowledge into their stress testing, and then to ensure the risks will be adequately managed in their ICAAP (Internal Capital Adequacy Assessment Process), which confirms that the level of capital in the bank is sufficient to withstand stresses,” Moorad says. 

He believes that a thorough understanding of bank risk becomes more important the higher one moves up the bank’s management structure. “Specialism is important in a specialist role level, and at the junior and middle management level within a bank. But beyond that, when you get to CFO, CRO or CEO level, you need to have a good knowledge of all the main bank risks because of the interplay between them,” he says. “That’s why we’ve put these three disciplines together.” 

Understanding bank risk is important for board risk committee members, regulatory and compliance executives, risk management executives, internal auditors and market, credit, and operational risk specialists. 

Moorad’s intent is to give a practitioner perspective from someone who has walked the talk (up to senior level) at different banks. “My emphasis is always on keeping things real world. I promise no academia; no inappropriate or irrelevant case studies; no consultant speak,” he says, laughing. “And no consultant slides – you know the ones I’m talking about, with little circles and triangles and lots of text. We’ll focus on practical solutions, and participants will also come out with template policy documents that they can take away and benchmark with their own policy documents at their own bank.” 

Benchmarking is something Moorad views as vital. This is one of the reasons he encourages the banking industry to be more intentional about knowledge sharing. “That’s why I’m doing this,” he says. “I’m a big believer in knowledge transfer and I think it’s something the industry needs to embrace. We would all do well to share how we do some of these things, which would assist us in benchmarking and thereby confirming good practice.” 

Moorad Chouhdry teaches the online program Market, Credit & Operational Risk Management at Amsterdam Institute of Finance.  

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