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Supervisory priorities and assessment of risks and vulnerabilities

Our supervisory priorities set out the focus of our activities for the next three years. They are revisited annually to reflect changes in the risk landscape and progress made on the previous year’s priorities, and can be adjusted at any time if justified by risk developments. They guide the operational planning of supervisory activities over the medium term and ensure resources are allocated efficiently.

The priorities are based on the key risks that supervised institutions face in the current macro-financial and geopolitical environment.

SSM supervisory priorities 2024-2026

What are supervisory priorities?

Priority 1

Strengthen resilience to immediate macro-financial and geopolitical shocks

The current environment is shaped by an uncertain macroeconomic outlook, tighter financing conditions and persistent geopolitical tensions. We need to make sure banks stay resilient and address the immediate impact of external shocks on their businesses.

Strengthening banks’ resilience

Key vulnerabilities

Shortcomings in credit and counterparty credit risk management

Banks should address structural deficiencies in their credit risk and counterparty credit risk management frameworks. They should be able to swiftly identify and mitigate any build-up of risks in more sensitive portfolios.

Credit risk management
Shortcomings in asset and liability management

Banks should manage their assets and liabilities prudently, developing reliable funding plans and contingency plans so they’d be able to withstand any short-term liquidity shocks.

Asset and liability management

Priority 2

Accelerate the effective remediation of structural shortcomings

Banks need to tackle weaknesses in their internal governance arrangements. They must also promptly meet supervisory expectations on climate-related and environmental risk management. Supervisors will use the tools at their disposal, including escalation, to ensure sufficient progress.

Remediation of structural shortcomings

Key vulnerabilities

Deficiencies in management bodies’ functioning and steering capabilities

Banks should effectively address material deficiencies in the functioning, composition and oversight capabilities of their boards.

Management bodies’ functioning
Deficiencies in risk data aggregation and reporting

Banks’ progress in addressing long standing deficiencies in this area is insufficient. Supervisors will step up their efforts to ensure effective remediation.

Risk data aggregation and reporting
Material exposures to drivers of physical and transition risk

Banks need to adequately incorporate climate-related and environmental risks within their strategy, governance and risk management frameworks, progressively complying with supervisory expectations by the end of 2024.

Exposures to physical and transition risk

Priority 3

Further progress in digital transformation and operational resilience

Banks need to step up their digitalisation efforts to cope with increasing competition, while also strengthening their operational frameworks to remain resilient against evolving cyber threats and potential disruptions to their operations.

Digital transformation and operational resilience

Key vulnerabilities

Deficiencies in digital transformation strategies

Banks need sound digital transformation plans to keep their business models sustainable and mitigate risks related to the use of innovative technologies.

Digital transformation strategies
Deficiencies in operational resilience frameworks

Banks should have robust outsourcing risk arrangements, and IT security and cyber resilience frameworks to proactively tackle risks and make their business models more sustainable.

Operational resilience frameworks

How do we use the supervisory priorities and the risk assessment?

The SSM priorities feed into institution-specific supervisory planning, as joint supervisory teams apply a targeted risk tolerance framework that promotes effective and risk-based supervision. In this way, the priorities are also important for the following year’s Supervisory Review and Evaluation Process (SREP), and they benefit from the outcome of the previous year’s SREP exercise.

Supervisory Review and Evaluation Process (SREP)

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