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Learning Lessons from the Corona Virus Pandemic for Financial Services

At some point, hopefully soon, the Corona Virus pandemic will start to become a thing of the past: the

mobility restrictions will start to be lifted and economic and social activities will start to return to

normal. The experience of China suggests that this would be a process in its own right and that

reactivating disrupted supply chains will not take place overnight. The strength of the shock to

economic conditions is such that commentators are also suggesting that the return to normal may well

include a re-definition of what is normal.

One of the features of Enterprise Risk Management (ERM) Frameworks is learning from events, in this

case, with a view to enhance operational resilience. At the same time, UK regulators are consulting on

their proposals for operational resilience, which also include learning from events.1

Learning lessons

would also support the exploration of the impact on existing business conditions and whether a new

“normal” is emerging to drive business strategy.

We believe that the process of learning lessons does not need to wait for the full resolution of the

pandemic. This note sets out our thoughts on the process. There are three aspects of the lessons

learnt process:

• a stock-take of what was in place in terms of operational resilience;

• a consideration of what worked / did not work well; and

• the identification of potential impact on future operating conditions.

We have developed a structured questionnaire to support a conversation that covers these points.

We would be interested to discuss this with industry contacts in financial services over a conference

call which would last no more than 90 mins. The intended benefit of this process for participants

would be:

• the identification of specific measures that can be adopted to enhance resilience for future


• firming up the understanding of the potential changes to the business environment that

should be considered to ensure future business strategy remains sustainable.

We offer a write up of the discussion which could contribute to the formalisation of an internal

lessons-learnt exercise. The views would also feed into a paper with industry lessons (without

attribution) which we will share with those that have contributed to the process. We envisage the

paper helping with the recovery process and the implementation of regulatory requirements on

operational resilience.

6 April 2020

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