REPUTATIONAL RISK

 

Branding in the finance – securities sector, in our perspective, has extended beyond being a symbol for clients to identify and position our business products and services; it has become a valuable intangible asset. Reputation risk refers to the loss or damage of value that result from changing Clients’ perception of the Company, creating major impacts on their demands for the Company’s products and services, as well as all general business activities.


SSI brand value estimates at USD 30.8 million, placing itself in the Top 40 most valuable brands in Vietnam. Fully aware of possible risks that may incur to the Company’s brand, SSI has built a brand development and management strategy and implement accordingly in an effective manner. 


Our branding is represented, firstly, by the images and information that are communicated through both public and internal media channels. Yet, more importantly, it is also showcased through our products and services, as well as any experience and interaction, no matter how small, between our clients and our representatives. As such the concept “brand ambassador” has taken a higher level of meaning, empowering each and every individual at SSI with the capability to convey important messages about the SSI brand to both our clients and the public. We always strive for consistency and strategic alignment in these messages. Our vision is “The Business of Success” and our mission is "Connecting capital to opportunities" to establish SSI as a transparent financial institution.


Maneuvering through today’s information highway, SSI has chosen transparency to be our guiding communication principle to minimize reputation risk. Transparency is key to building trust of our Shareholders and Investors: Information, whether negative or positive, is processed in a consistent manner to provide them with a genuine perspective. When inaccurate information about SSI is published, we apply the same principle of transparency in handling: always willing to initiate direct dialogue with the public, providing factual and credible information to work towards a resolution. 


In 2018, there were more than 112,000 discussions about SSI on social network and media, including more than 970 news/articles in mainstream newspapers. The Company also actively launched 36 media campaigns. These figures, to some extents, showed the interest of shareholders and investors in SSI's activities. Respecting the investment value from our shareholders, SSI is fully aware of our responsibility to provide our shareholders and investors with transparent, complete, accurate and timely information. 


As the impact of social networking on branding becomes more powerful, instead of being passively responding to the flow of information, SSI has worked with leading consulting firms to be able to listen to the most detailed discussion of investors, clients, not only on the SSI brand, but also on the stock market. This information helps SSI both take initiative in responding to misleading information and access a valuable source of information to observe market orientation, so that SSI can continue to pioneer on the path toward market transparency. 


In order to mitigate reputation risk, SSI has been working to establish a systematic and professional communication process and plan. Our communication plan is clearly defined every year so that essential information can be related in a timely and complete manner. All materials, messages and announcements from SSI go through a strict internal review process to ensure precision and consistency. To date we have issued and implemented various regulations and rules for information reporting and publishing, with particular provisions for conducting interview with public media, as well as sharing information and producing written materials on SSI’s business activities. Most notably, SSI has in place a clear procedure for correcting false information on public media, asking all of our staff to be responsible for alerting the company about the existence of false information. We also prepared a full guideline for crisis management, emphasizing a willingness to collaborate, share and communicate with the media and the public.

 

HUMAN RESOURCE MANAGEMENT RISK 

 

One of important principles in SSI's governance system is transparency. 


SSI fully aware that human resource is one of the most important resources and assets to create added values and shape the organization's development. Risks related to human resources may cause great impact on business performance and benefits of enterprises.


On these grounds, SSI aims for a comprehensive human resource risk management system with following objectives:

 


HR risk management solutions


Establish a list of risks that may incur in human resource management to help identify, evaluate, control and have appropriate risk management measures: 

 

 

Establish processes, tools and sets of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), Service Level Agreements (SLAs) to provide guidance on operations, measure performance and identify risks which may incur in daily operations related to each operation:  Recruitment, Training, Rotation, and Appointment.
 
Check the compliance of relevant departments in implementing regulations, work-flows and processes to ensure compliance with the provisions of Law and the State and SSI's policies.
 
Give warnings and solutions on a periodic or ad-hoc basis (upon request or actual situation) to minimize financial risks and operational risks based on the list of risks that may be encountered in human resource management activities of SSI.
 
Foster risk management culture through communication programs on professional ethics, financial regulations and information technology and training programs on risk management. 
 
With an effective risk management system, SSI strongly promotes the deployment of opportunities for potential staff to participate in staff challenging and development programs, projects and action programs and innovation initiatives annually. 
 
LEGAL RISK 
 
Legal risk is the risk that may occur due to subjective reasons, i.e. employee's compliance and objective reasons, i.e. changes in legal regulations, Force majeure events during the daily operation of the Company. The BOD and Board of Management attaches great importance to this issue, and therefore does not tolerate any risks due to deliberate violations of legal regulations. Therefore, the Company has established measures to identify, prevent and limit risks such as:
Develop internal regulations and procedures to meet operational requirements and comply with law, document internal affairs into procedures and guidelines; regularly review to modify, update internal regulations and procedures in accordance with any changes in laws; ensure the internal regulations, processes, products, commitments, contracts, etc. receive comments and feedbacks from Legal Department prior to issuance or implementation.
 
Communicate and update new legal regulations to relevant departments. The updated regulations are not only related to the securities sector, but also include other areas that affect the entire operations of the Company such as accounting, taxation, labor, etc. The Legal Department will assist other departments to answer questions or seek advice from Competent Authorities to ensure accurate understanding and proper application of these regulations. 
 
The company pays great attention to building specialized systems and departments of law. In order to limit the risks arising from changes in laws or regulations, SSI organizes the Legal Department with licensed lawyers as well as uses external professional legal consultancy services in case of need. The Legal Department is also responsible for updating newly issued regulatory documents for the BOD, the Management and relevant units. It also studies the impacts of draft regulatory documents on the Company’s activities for proper preparation. The Department is also in charge of providing inputs to draft legal documents that are closely related to the Company's activities, participating in seminars, coordinating with peers and members of professional associations to comment on law making process, summarizing problems arising from the application of current regulations to report to competent state agencies and propose feasible solutions.
 
Compliance is a criterion in the professional code of ethics of the Company that the entire BOD, Board of Management and employees have committed to. In 2018, all employees of the Company have strictly complied with the proposed measures, thanks to which no violations of legal risk limits have incurred. 
 
ENVIRONMENTAL RISK
 
The Company provides services in the financial sector, without material use of natural resources, therefore environmental risk exposure is negligible.
 
2019 ACTION PLAN 
 
In 2018, the company's risk management system was fundamentally completed with the addition and updating of several risk management policies and procedures for each specific risk area, along with upgrading of the risk monitoring and warning systems.
 
In 2019, risk management activities will be further enhanced with the development of a risk management system in line with international standards as well as business practices of SSI. In addition, the improvement and updating of risk management policies and procedures continues to be implemented. 
 
With strong growth in personnel size as well as network of branches and customers, along with new trading flatforms and supporting technology, the Company is facing more operational risk-related issues, especially those prompted from human and system. In addition, many unexpected risk factors from outside might also elevate market risks, possibility leading to strong corrections across the market or in specific stock groups or industries. Higher market risk will lead to credit risk related to margin lending and derivative trading, and increase expense for prevent risk related to covered warrant product which will be launched in 2019. 
 
With a total asset size of USD 1 billion and allocated to a number of different business activities flexibly to improve the efficiency of financial resources use, there is still a liquidity risk.
 
Therefore, 2019 to focus on improving the effectiveness of risk management with the implementation of risk management training for all employees to enhance risk management culture, for each employee is to serve as a risk management agent in each of their operation. In addition, strengthening of market surveillance and regular assessment of market risks, concentration of outstanding loans related to margin lending activities in order to make timely adjustments are also implemented. Besides, the derivatives market is also monitored daily to promptly adjust, and handle if there are market factors that can cause strong fluctuations of derivatives index.
 
Liquidity risk management is always focused to ensure that the Company does not occur liquidity risk as well as financial resources are allocated and used effectively.
 
In 2019, with the addition of warrants in the security market, completion of risk management for warrant underwriting will also be a focus. 
 
Challenges in the implementation of risk management activities
 
In order to achieve sufficient risk management, it is necessary to be accurate and effective in identifying, measuring, monitoring, warning and handling risks, along with awareness building at all levels from management to employees on the importance of risk management and each member's initiative to engage in risk management activities of SSI.
 
Because risk management is a new field in Vietnam as well as a growing field in the world, there remain issues with inconsistent and changing definitions, limited risk measurement models, and inadequate awareness on the importance of risk management activities across majority of the work force. Therefore, risk management activities to encounter the following difficulties:
 
Measuring risks using the quantitative method requires the use of historical data. However, at present, the data source is either very limited or unavailable, making the use of quantitative risk measurement to be challenging, inaccurate or unfeasible. In addition, quantitative risk measurement models themselves have limitations and vary in approaches. For instance: The Value at Risk (VaR) method can help to measure maximum loss at a specific level of confidence over a period of time. However, when a risk is outside of the confidence level, the maximum loss cannot be defined and often is very large. In addition, VaR also has a variety of measurement methods depending on specific conditions, requiring users to have experience for appropriate measurement application.
 
Current software systems supporting risk measurement require very high investment costs that only large banks or financial corporations in the world can reach the scale to attain meaningful cost-effective use. As a result, certain semi-manual calculations remain in use.