Change Assurance & Advisory

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What is Change Assurance and Advisory?

In today's rapidly evolving digital landscape, businesses are increasingly investing in change, particularly in technology and data. This shift is driven by the need to stay competitive and agile in a market where technological advancements are constantly reshaping consumer expectations and industry standards. By embracing innovative technologies and harnessing the power of data, businesses can unlock new opportunities for growth, enhance operational efficiency, and create more personalised customer experiences.

How confident are you that your change initiatives are identified, prioritised, and managed so that you will deliver the outcomes needed?

For those firms that can successfully deliver the change and transformation, the opportunity to reduce cost to serve, differentiate the customer proposition and gain new market share awaits.

Increasing regulation, unforeseen innovation (e.g. digital currencies and data sharing) and market entry by cross-sector competition (e.g. tech-giants such as Apple and non-banks focused on payments and consumer lending) needs careful navigation and a prioritised portfolio of well thought through change initiatives successfully delivered.

This isn’t easy. Underestimating costs, uncovering technical debt, discovering lurking data quality issues, complex change dependencies, cultural barriers and a shortage of talent are all common challenges that need to be overcome.

Why Is It Important?

Regulator focus: 1 in 6 of all material incidents reported to the FCA were because of poorly managed change 1. Achieving effective and sustainable change continues to be a focus of the regulators in 2024 (e.g. PRA ‘Dear CEO Letters’).

Return on investment: Customers are expecting digital services and will consider moving firms if they are not provided 2. Achieving ‘time to value’ from your change investment requires business agility and a different approach to what may have served you well in the past. Most change initiatives don’t deliver the expected outcomes, incurring unnecessary delays, cost overruns and in some cases customer harm (e.g. TSB fined £48.65m for operational resilience failures in 2022) 3.

Relentless need for change: The portfolio of change initiatives is increasing and their inter-dependencies are becoming much more complex to manage. Reporting that is provided to the board and governance groups continues to evolve, however in our experience does not consistently provide an accurate risk assessment and the insight needed by decision makers.

Trusted assurance: Assurances provided across all lines of defence are not yet sufficiently integrated and forward looking. They often don’t identify the hidden risks early enough so that mitigations and interventions can be made, resulting in risks that crystalise and the change team being inundated with assurance requests that distract them from delivering the task at hand. The assurance needs to move at the pace of the programme, be focused in the right areas and be trusted by all stakeholders.

How Can DCR Partners Help?

We have done this before and you are in safe hands. The DCR team members have advised, assured and delivered change initiatives at leading UK banks, building societies, insurers, wealth managers and investment banks. We reduce risk, improve change confidence and enable success.

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Independent Board Advisory Icon

Independent Board Advisory

The regulator expects that the board should provide oversight of material change programmes. We act as an experienced independent advisor to the programme sponsor / board, autonomously reviewing portfolio reporting and attending meetings to advise on potential risks, change implications and provide guidance and direction.

 

We often support this with ongoing training for board members to improve their ability to ask the right questions of management, focusing on developing a baseline understanding for all board members.

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Independent Assurance or Co-Sourced Provider of Change Audit Icon

Independent Assurance or Co-Sourced Provider of Change Audit

We collaborate with all three lines of defence to provide confidence that risks associated with change initiatives are identified early and managed, therefore helping to ensure that the expected change outcomes are achieved.

 

We work alongside your existing team to provide support, subject matter expertise, coaching and comparative insight and benchmarking. Change is inevitable and we therefore focus on building your own internal capability, ensuring knowledge and skills transfer with your own team.

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Change Delivery Support

We support you to design and execute change initiatives that deliver, whether that be through helping you to design and implement proportionate change frameworks or providing change expertise to complement your own team in areas such as programme management, business analysis and programme / change management office capability.

References:

1: FCA Publication – Implementing Technology Change (February 2021): Implementing Technology Change | FCA

2: YouGov Future of Financial Services Report 2022: YouGov's The Future of Financial Services Report 2022

3: FCA Publication – TSB fined 48.65m for operational resilience failings (December 2022): TSB fined £48.65m for operational resilience failings | FCA

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