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RMA Roundtables – Together Again At Last!

With spectacular views of Salt Lake City’s mountains and valley serving as the backdrop, RMA’s first in-person Operational Risk Management (ORM) roundtable in two years was a rousing success. Representatives from over 20 banks and other financial institutions attended the roundtable, including U.S. Bank, Truist, Charles Schwab, PNC, KeyBank, M&T Bank, Santander, FIS Global, and others.

Zions Bancorporation hosted the meeting as a follow-up to its article “RCSA and the Drive to Operational Excellence,” which appeared in the May 2022 edition of The RMA Journal.

Inspired by such welcoming surroundings and excited to be back together in the same room for the first time since the pandemic hit, participants made the most of their time together. After RMA’s Sylwia Czajkowska and Zions’ Chief Risk Officer Keith Maio and Director of Enterprise Risk Management Aprille Savarese welcomed participants, a lively discussion commenced. They focused on strategy and RCSA’s alignment with operational excellence and business value, including leveraging RCSA as a tool to bolster customer experience, risk management, and greater efficiency and automation. Members expressed keen interest in Zions’ and other bank approaches to deploying RCSA across end-to-end processes. The roundtable also covered RCSA and ORM implementation techniques, lessons learned, convergence, analysis, reporting, sustainability, and other timely topics.  Ross Varner, Zions’ Director of Operational Risk Management commented, “We were excited to have so many institutions join us in Salt Lake City for an energized exchange of current risk management practices and ideas for the future.”

Deborah Merkle, a Financial Institution Examiner with The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, joined the discussion via video to provide an update on OCC areas of focus and the direction of ORM and RCSA.  An active question and answer session followed. Roundtable participants enjoyed the exchange of ideas so much that they set up a call that RMA coordinated the following month to discuss “Control Programs and Control Testing.

Here is a sampling of what roundtable participants had to say:

“Participating in the roundtable provided great benefit for me in better understanding the current state of RCSA frameworks and leading practices executed by others. The event also allowed me to exchange ideas with others on changes our bank is considering for the future. These RMA events are one of the best resources for gaining industry benchmark data and networking.”

Denise Cramer
EVP, Director of Operational Risk Management
Wilmington Trust/ M&T Bank

“The RMA RCSA roundtable provided a fantastic opportunity to reconnect with peers across other institutions and gain insight on current practices. We appreciated the opportunity to gain confidence in our existing continuous improvement efforts while learning great ideas for new areas of exploration.”

Tripp Rex
Senior Vice President | Director of Operational Risk Frameworks
U.S. Bank

“The quality of discussion with attendees with first-hand knowledge of the challenges running an RCSA program was of tremendous value. Both the in-person interactions with peers as well as the video session with Deborah Merkel from the OCC was a great opportunity to gain insight into regulatory expectations by comparing notes with colleagues and hearing firsthand from the OCC. I look forward to similar opportunities and would heartily recommend the same.”

Sam Bennikutty
Director, Enterprise and Operational Risk Management
Charles Schwab