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Case Study | Operational Resilience - Important Business Services

Investment firm Important business services Operational resilience

A large financial services firm with a wide range of products and services required support to identify their Important Business Services (IBS), as phase 1 of their end to end Operational Resilience programme.


On the 29th of March 2021, the FCA & PRA published their joint policy statements relating to Operational Resilience. This policy requires enhanced firms under the Senior Managers and Certification Regime (SM&CR) to comply with the requirements of this regulation by the 31st of March 2022.

How FourthLine helped the client

  • FourthLine was engaged as the consulting partner for the firm, responsible for end-to-end Operational Resilience implementation. We were specifically asked to provide a framework and expertise to enable the firm to identify its Important Business Services (IBS).
  • The first meeting with the executives and senior management was to provide context around the engagement, the associated regulations applicable and how FourthLine would work with the firm to ensure compliance with the regulation.
  • This was followed by a desktop review to form a view of all the client's potential business services we should consider as part of IBS identification.
  • The outputs from the desktop analysis provided the basis for our first workshop, which was to assemble Subject Matter Experts (SME) from across the firm to discuss and agree on the list of potential business services and various channels by which customers access these services (customer touchpoints).
  • Once the list was agreed upon, FourthLine held a further workshop to agree on the firm's definition of 'intolerable harm'. This allowed the firm to consider, in the event of a service disruption or failure, whether there was a potential for customers to suffer 'intolerable harm'.
  • Following these two workshops, the firm had a list of potential Important Business Services, to be taken forward to a series of scoring workshops. Our scoring workshops assess the ‘criticality’ of each potential Important Business Service.
  • In our scoring workshops, all Business Services selected in the previous stages were scored.  These workshops were attended by SME representatives from each business service and chaired and documented by FourthLine.
  • During the scoring workshops, FourthLine asked the SMEs a series of questions according to our bespoke methodology.  Each answer given was assigned a score, along with rationale to support the score provided.
  • The engagement culminated in the production of a report, which was presented to the executives and senior management, detailing each of the Important Business Services, along with the methodology applied.
  • The report was structured in a way to feed directly into the client’s Self-Assessment document.

The Outcome

All deliverables were achieved within the milestone timelines and the budget agreed and the Board signed off on the proposed Important Business Services. 

How FourthLine can help:

FourthLine is working with several clients to help them achieve compliance and react to the challenges of the new Operational Resilience regulation, through a mixture of consulting and advisory services.

You can get in touch here to find out more about our tailored and proportionate response to Operational Resilience compliance.

Read our Operational Resilience Technical Paper
July 27, 2022
Jakes de Kock
Jakes is FourthLine's Marketing Director. He specialises in omni-channel, tech-enabled inbound marketing strategies to drive business growth within the b2b sector.
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