IT Governance for Central Banks

Click here to download the full brochure

Tuesday 18 September


Introduction session from the chairman
Led by the chairman Philip Tromp, Chief Executive Officer, Tromp AG

In this introductory session, the chairman will outline the main themes of the seminar and invite delegates to share their views about the most pressing IT challenges they face within their respective central banks and regulatory bodies.

The impact of the crisis on operations
John Trundle, Chief Executive Officer UK and Ireland, Euroclear and former Head of Business Continuity Division, Bank of England

The financial crisis has led to a sea-change in central bank roles and responsibilities. The impact has been felt institution wide. Data-hungry teams in new areas of responsibility and focus, such as macroprudential policy, place increasing demands on IT resources. Payment systems must run faster, more often and with more connections. In operations, new assets purchased require updated or purpose-built risk systems that can measure and manage exposures. Such times of change strain IT departments and create a breeding ground for operational risks. In this session, the speaker will discuss the impact the crisis is having on day-to-day operations of a central bank.

Workshop: linking IT with new business developments

Philip Tromp, Chief Executive Officer, Tromp AG

The complex objectives of central banks - openness and transparency in operations and communications, reliable and resilient operation of real-time gross and net settlement systems, and stewardship of public funds used to conduct their activities - warrant increased attention to the enhancement of operational excellence in IT. In this session, led by the chairman, discussion will focus on some of the pressing challenges impacting the day-to-day business of central banks and how IT professionals need to adapt.

Wednesday 19 September


Serving the goals of a central bank: the role of IT
Philip Tromp

For the information technology function to be effective, it is essential that IT strategy is closely aligned with institutional goals. To this end, most central banks have adopted, to some extent, formalised IT governance procedures. However, governance processes alone are not sufficient to guarantee effective investment and strategy, and, crucially, engagement across the bank. At a time of increasing change in central banks' roles and responsibilities, this session will focus on the challenges of engaging business lines in the management of IT investment from inception to completion. The speaker will discuss the framework, processes, roles and responsibilities that need to be developed and implemented to achieve this objective.

IT governance models and the "best in class" COBIT approach
Komitas Stephanyan, Head of IT Audit Division, Central Bank of Armenia

Central banks employ a large number of staff in a range of different departments and roles. It is widely accepted that the majority of central bankers will need to utilise IT on a regular basis to effectively carry out their day to day roles. With high levels of staff across a range of different departments, it is important to have uniformity in terms of IT governance as well as a common business language for internal control and IT audit. However what approaches are available, and more importantly what is the industry standard? In this session, the speaker will discuss the range of IT governance approaches available including the "best in class" COBIT governance model.

Managing stakeholder engagement in IT departments
Nader Qahoush, Head of Information and Related Technology Supervision Department, Central Bank of Jordan

Typically, IT departments find themselves continually pulled in different directions. On the one hand they must devise technology solutions to business needs; on the other they must ensure that best practice and an appropriate overall IT strategy is followed. In these circumstances, how can central banks ensure effective partnerships between IT specialists and business units? This session will investigate how IT personnel can get a firm grasp of business operations, how IT considerations need to be taken into account in the departmental business plan and the extent to which common measures of success can be developed. Delegates will be invited to discuss the key stakeholder engagement challenges within their respective central banks and formulate solutions as a group.

Talent management: a CIO's view
Gareth Lewis, Chief Information Officer, UK Financial Services Authority (invited)

Systems and processes - and ultimately departments and institutions - function only as well as the staff employed, and indeed trained, to manage them. People are central to the efficiency of any enterprise. The pressing demands of the global economic climate mean that now perhaps more than ever the right people have to be employed. How can a central bank ensure they recruit, retain and manage the best talent in order to achieve set objectives? In this session the speaker will discuss approaches to managing the human resources of the IT function in order to achieve objectives. Discussion will focus on how talent management can be implemented and the specific demands IT places on this.

Thursday 20 September


Balancing benefits and risks in new technologies
Todd Aadland, Vice President, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago

The rapid advancement and availability of information and communication technologies create a dilemma for central banks. On the one hand, greater technological capability can increase the capacity of operating systems and quicken the dissemination of information. On the other, the increased complexity and power consumption of such systems can lead to increased human error and system breakdown, not to mention creating new potential opportunities for hacking and malware. In this session, the speaker will focus on how IT managers can employ new technology to add to overall performance without exposing the organisation to undue operational risks.

How central banks can utilise cloud computing
Paul Vincent, Digital Security Architect, British Petroleum (invited)

What lies ahead for information technology within central banks? Optimisation methods such as cloud computing can allow central banks to modernise their servers and storage systems in a cost effective and secure environment. But forward thinking is required in order to maintain consistency in IT governance whilst adapting to change. In this session, the speaker will discuss cloud computing, its benefits and limitations. Group discussion will focus on how cloud computing can be implemented in central banking and regulatory contexts.

How to identify and manage risk in IT systems
Todd Aadland

As information and communication technologies evolve at a rapid rate, it is imperative that IT managers understand the risks. This is especially the case when policymakers, new technologies and sensitive data combine. Given the threats that central bank IT systems face, it is essential that internal regulatory guidelines are put in place to prevent unforced errors and that the responsibility for IT security is properly assigned and understood. This session looks at how central bank IT departments can carry out a risk assessment and how to mitigate risks.

Maintaining security in a web-based world
J. Philip Evans, IT Security Consultant and Former Principal Lecturer, Technology Security, University of Westminster

As use of email, the internet and remote access functionality increase and the use of electronic commerce expands, IT managers are faced with the pressing challenge of how to maintain a secure environment in what is a web-based world. In this session, an IT security expert from the private sector will share his thoughts about the advances in data protection, how to defend against future technological threats, how to decide on which threats to monitor and how to build defences to counter possible threats.

Friday 21 September


Economic data and the role of IT
Daniel Eissrich, Director, Market Data Team, IT Department, Deutsche Bundesbank

Robust economic data is integral to central bank functions. Statistic departments require accurate data to facilitate their responsibilities of monetary and financial stability, whereas economists require accurate data when forecasting and modelling what lies ahead within a jurisdiction. Given the immense importance of economic data in this regard, how can central bank IT departments better enable data to be easily accessible and accurate? In this session, the speaker will discuss the challenges faced when sourcing data internally and externally, and the role IT plays in assisting. Group discussion will focus on best practice approaches for IT departments within central banks and regulatory bodies.

Utilising IT to support banking supervision
Andrew Coulson, Deputy Head of Banking Supervision, Central Bank of Ireland (invited)

The onset of new financial regulations offers a fresh set of supervision challenges. In addition to enforcing new rules, central banks have to ensure that existing regulation is adhered to by the commercial banks they supervise, and best practices approaches must be followed and indeed improved upon. IT processes and systems can certainly contribute to the effectiveness of banking supervision, but what can be done better in a world of ever evolving and changing regulation and standards? In this session, the speaker will focus on the demands the new framework of financial regulation places on IT. Group discussion will address how IT departments can continuously improve support for this important function.

Lessons and action points
Led by the chairman, Philip Tromp

The course concludes with a discussion led by the chairman drawing together the days' discussions. Delegates will be encouraged to formulate action plans to take back to their institutions.