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Got Issues? We’ve Got Ideas.

Keeping up with issue remediation and governance breakdowns can be a taxing affair as bank management gets more complex. Winging it in silos is unproductive and an invitation to regulatory scrutiny. 

Andrew Mansholt, risk management analyst at Wintrust Financial, urges banks instead to consider a formal issue management framework, backed by the best tools, to consistently identify, respond to, and report on issues across your organization. Uniform processes can break through the organizational silos that interfere with issue resolution. Standard policies, meanwhile, can guide staff as they take on an increasing issue-related workload. 

At the foundation, strong issue management starts with a solid first-line of defense, backed by second- and third-line support and guardrails. If too many issues reach internal audit, your organization is doing something wrong. Fast, first-line solutions are often the best. 

As Mansholt suggests, there are some best practices companies should consider when standing up an issues management framework: 

  • Build a strong risk culture: Promote a proactive ethos around risk throughout your organization. That starts with the board, who can influence culture by holding leaders accountable, supporting continuous improvement, and celebrating progress and successes. 
  • Put technology to work: Move processes out of the dark ages of email and spreadsheets to a modern issue management or GRC platform to promote transparency, consistency, and proactivity. Even reporting is easier when it’s managed through a centralized tool. 
  • Socialize the framework and train people: Your culture and processes are only as strong as the people that shape them. Invest in training to build understanding and acceptance for the framework. 

We’ve all got issues. Wouldn’t it be great if there were a sensible framework, like the one Mansholt outlines, to help us resolve them?