Operational Risk has been defined as the risk of loss that arises from inadequate systems, controls, human error or other management failures. Behind this simple statement lies a world of individual risk events that threatens the existence of all businesses. Citadel Advantage are Operational Risk Management specialists with a strong focus on Back Office Operations, Payment System Operations, and Business Continuity in banks and other financial institutions.
The “International Convergence of Capital Measurements and Capital Standards”, also known as Basel II, requires that banks take effective steps to mitigate their operational risks. The operational risk requirements of Basel II place a heavy emphasis on the identification, assessment, monitoring and control of operational risk. We have the expertise and the experience to assist you with the Basel II Operational Risk Mitigation requirements.
We innovate, develop, design, integrate and implement all activities concerning payment systems. In short we handle the whole process from Concept to Completion.
We are payment system specialists who provide services directly involved with the design, functionality, risk mitigation, and its operation (including payment flow control and liquidity management) of Payment Systems and associated Back Office operations.
Solve your payments, correspondent banking, trade finance, treasury management and related problems. We can direct and implement a rapid, cost effective deployment of all the components needed to allow you to become operational in the minimum amount of time without the usual heavy capital outlay.
Rather than focusing on a single aspect, we concentrate on the complete architecture: business, operations, statutory, regulatory and technical elements ensuring harmony between the business and technology components of any system or product arrangement.
Our approach avoids the traditional manner of implementing a banking system and its integration into the operating environment which is usually done in a haphazard manner; critical issues are handled independently, often out of sequence and most certainly some parts are missed entirely.
We at Citadel Advantage are experts in undertaking specific project work for banks and software houses on specific subjects and projects. This may include project management and expert analysis work on specific issues such as:
- Payments – Wholesale, Retail, RTGS, SWIFT, ACH, ATM, EFTPOS, Mobile, Card
- Payments trends and the future direction of payments
- Trade Finance
- Application Service Providers
- Bank & Payments related regulatory issues and their implications embodying oversight, policy & governance
- Country and region analysis
- Correspondent analysis
- Process reengineering
- Full service project management and advocacy
Our advisory services are intended to provide clients with an objective review of the communications and processing requirements necessary to support a cost effective implementation and management of payment, operational risk and other banking systems.
These services include:
- Document the clients funds transfer related needs
- Specifying the appropriate architecture to guide this and future system related projects
- Recommending organization and staffing required for the implementation of the targeted system. This will entail recommending the appropriate organizational arrangements to support the targeted system from both an automation and operational perspective
- Recommending hardware and software required for the implementation of the targeted system. This will entail recommending appropriate organizational arrangements to support the targeted system from both an automation and operational perspective
- Providing technical and business support to the client throughout the procurement process, as appropriate
- Comprehensive risk assessment / solutions services that help you pinpoint weaknesses in your processes and systems and correct them.
This is a specific service aimed at making payments, correspondent banking, trade finance, treasury management and their related areas of the bank more effective and efficient. Banks face the continual problem of having to contain or better still, reduce that operating costs surrounding these areas, while not reducing the overall level of efficiency and effectively. Key issues that are addressed are;
- Identifying the true costs incurred
- Activity Based Costing
- Eliminating waste
- Optimizing the operation
- Implementing the plan
Our team’s experience and expertise gives us the edge when writing white papers for leading banking & technology clients around the world on all issues relating to payments and payments processing as well as operations risk and its mitigation. We have developed business and technical white papers that help clients meet their marketing and sales goals. Citadel Advantage white papers distinguishes the company from its competitors, and positions its clients for success. Our white papers tell a compelling story, articulates business challenges and clearly explain innovative technology.
We combine speed of execution with superior quality that is hard to match. We only use senior writers with payments, operations risk and project management expertise. Our white papers are written from the heart – by people who understand and have a real knowledge of the issues at hand. All this coupled to an exceptional writing ability.
RFPs are designed to provide banks with a first-pass at the suitability of a vendor to meet a need. Very often the vendor and the bank are speaking two different languages – technical for the vendor and business for the bank.
Citadel Advantage provides an “arms-length” independent writing and evaluation service and will work with RFP process the entire way:
- The RFP requirements are really being met?
- Will you be understood clearly?
- Is there any hidden ambiguity?
We are able to provide expert trainers who not only understand the technical implications of your solutions but also have a keen understanding and knowledge of the underlying banking and business practices involved. We provide the ideal bridge between banking practice and technology. Our trainers are expert bankers with a deep background in international banking and funds transfer. Need SWIFT expert? We have those too.
The crucial starting point in the development of any software is the “Functional Specification”, the clear description of how the system needs to operate. However getting to an understandable Functional Specification presents a number of problems. Software houses usually lack banking knowledge, expertise and skills. Programmers and business people speak two different languages. Banks tend to be inward looking and often only see what they perceive as their requirements from their own perspective. They only see the requirements of a new system or development from their own experience. The experiences of other banks cannot be taken into account. This limited view can very often severely restrict the capabilities of the finished product. We can document the perfect Functional Specification and interpret it correctly – the first time.
Compliance with policies, regulations and rules is critical to the successful functioning of any bank or financial institution. Failure to meet regulatory demands can lead to penalties, loss of reputation or even market exclusion. Citadel Advantage is able to offer compliance services.
In the light of the events of Sept 11 and the heightened concerns regarding terrorism and responses to major catastrophic events, Business Continuity Planning (BCP) has come to the fore. It is important for banks and other financial institutions to feel comfortable that their contingency plans are robust and will provide the appropriate response for any disaster situation that confronts them.
Often BCPs fail because they are either impractical, miss obvious issues or have not been tested appropriately. Because your staff may be too close to the issue, the obvious can often be missed. Our consultants are able to review your plans and identify weaknesses and risks, for your management to consider. We can work with your team to rectify any such issues.
Don’t have a realistic BCP? Citadel Advantage can provide you with comprehensive consultancy service assisting you to create and test a comprehensive and realistic program.
Citadel Advantage offers unique services that combine expertise from both sides – from the world of banking and from the world of technology.