Challenges in Third Party Risk Management

Ahead of the 14th Edition Third Party Risk Management And Oversight For Financial Institutions in NYC, February 27-28, 2023, we have performed on the best practices followed by major US Banks in mitigating Third-Party Risk and managing vendor relations effectively.

In the world of finance, there’s always risk involved. But when it comes to working with third parties, that risk can be amplified. That’s why effective TPRM is essential for financial institutions. By understanding both the risks and best practices involved, you can protect your institution from potential problems down the road. In this blog post, we will explore best practices in third party risk management for financial institutions. From due diligence to contract management and more, we’ll cover everything you need to know to minimize your institution’s risks.

What is Third Party Risk Management?

Third party risk management (TPRM) is the process of identifying, assessing, and mitigating risks associated with third parties. TPRM encompasses all risks related to the use of third parties, including financial, operational, reputational, legal, and compliance risks.

TPRM is a critical part of any organization’s risk management program. Financial institutions are particularly vulnerable to risks associated with third parties due to their reliance on service providers for essential functions such as technology, custody, and clearing services. Furthermore, the increasing complexity and globalization of financial markets have created new opportunities for third-party providers. As a result, financial institutions must be even more vigilant in managing third-party risk.

There are several best practices that financial institutions can follow to effectively manage third-party risk:

1. Establish a clear policy on acceptable levels of risk.

2. Conduct due diligence on all potential third-party providers.

3. Select providers that have strong controls in place to mitigate risks.

4. Monitor third-party providers on an ongoing basis.

5. Have a plan in place for dealing with potential problems that may arise.

The Three Lines of Defense

As the title suggests, the three lines of defense are the three main methods financial institutions have for managing third party risk. The first line of defense is prevention, which includes measures like due diligence and contract negotiation. The second line of defense is detection, which includes things like periodic reviews and audits. The third and final line of defense is mitigation, which includes things like insurance and contingency planning.

Each of these lines of defense has its own strengths and weaknesses, and financial institutions need to carefully consider all three when developing a third party risk management strategy. Prevention is always better than cure, but it’s not always possible to prevent all risks from materializing. That’s where detection and mitigation come in. By detecting risks early and having a plan in place to mitigate them, financial institutions can minimize the damage caused by third party risks.

Best Practices in Third Party Risk Management

When it comes to managing third party risk, financial institutions need to be vigilant. Here are some best practices to help you mitigate risks:

1. Know your vendors: Conduct due diligence and know who you’re doing business with. Understand their business practices and financial stability.

2. Have a contract in place: Make sure there is a signed contract in place that sets out the expectations and roles of each party.

3. Define clear objectives: Be clear about what you want to achieve from the relationship and set realistic targets.

4. Manage expectations: Communicate regularly with your vendor and manage expectations on both sides.

5. Monitor performance: Keep tabs on how the vendor is performing against agreed objectives and KPIs. Address any issues as they arise.

6. Review regularly: Evaluate the relationship regularly to ensure it is still meeting your needs and goals.

Challenges in Third Party Risk Management

Third party risk management has been a top priority for financial institutions for many years. However, challenges still exist in this area. Some of the most common challenges include:

1. Lack of visibility into third-party relationships: Many financial institutions do not have a clear picture of all their third-party relationships. This can make it difficult to identify and manage risks associated with these relationships.

2. Lack of standardization: There is no one-size-fits-all approach to third party risk management. Each financial institution has its own unique set of risks that need to be managed. This lack of standardization can make it difficult to develop and implement effective risk management processes.

3. Fragmented data: Financial institutions often have fragmented data on their third parties. This can make it difficult to get a complete picture of a third party’s business activities and risk profile.

4. Lack of resources: Many financial institutions do not have the resources needed to effectively manage third-party risks. This includes both human resources and financial resources.

5. Complex regulatory environment: The regulatory environment surrounding third-party risk management is complex and constantly changing. This can make it difficult for financial institutions to keep up with the latest requirements and best practices


Third party risk management is a critical part of any financial institution’s operations. By following the best practices outlined in this article, financial institutions can reduce their exposure to risks posed by third parties and create a more robust and resilient organization.

Join the 14th Edition Third Party Risk Management And Oversight For Financial Institutions, February 27-28, NYC

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Ayis Panayi is a Digital Media & PR Executive for marcus evans and GFMI. He is currently in charge of all aspects for the GFMI Operational Resilience for Financial Institutions Conference in New York, September 28-30.

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