I started working here as a Risk Analyst in April 2018. I already had extensive work experience, including at the Ministry of Finance, where I was when the credit crisis and then the debt crisis broke in 2007. It was a very interesting and instructive time in terms of my financial education, using risk analyses, models and reports to see exactly how banks work and what had gone wrong during the crisis.

At Nationale-Nederlanden, I’m doing my bit to prevent a future crisis. It’s a very challenging job. At most major banks, the risk framework is sometimes already highly developed, which also makes it rigid, and a risk role often means holding the fort. But here, at a medium-sized and rapidly growing bank, in an energetic environment with short lines, the path is not yet fully paved, and I have the scope for personal development.

I now work here as a Risk Analyst. The bank has financial and non-financial risks, such as credit risks and operational risks. In our Risk Integration Control department, which is the umbrella risk department, we integrate the different kinds of risk into the overall bank risk. We report on this to our Chief Risk Officer, as well as to NN Group and the external regulators, such as De Nederlandsche Bank. We need to have a responsible overall picture, because only can we see how the bank is operating as a whole.

The area of work is pretty diverse. We’re involved in everything to do with risk and everything that affects capital. To a large degree, the work is still done by people. By organising and automating processes and analyses as smartly and efficiently as possible, we create scope for new projects. A good example of this is the innovative use of stress tests. We use our stress test models to see what would happen if specific scenarios were to play out, such as a substantial rise or fall in interest rates.  We want to use these models more and more to advise the business as well. To do this, we need to develop the models further and that’s a great challenge.

We’re a leading player in the field of system-dynamic modelling. In this type of model, we consider developments that are not as easy to capture in a traditional model. It helps us look at the risks the bank runs in a different light. The model we’re developing for this is similar to a macro-economic forecasting model, like the ones you see at De Nederlandsche Bank, but then made specifically for a bank.

For risk managers who are willing to do more than just scratch the surface, this is the place to be. It’s also crucial that you can explain the business in simple terms and to know what our risk models can and can’t do. This allows the business to become more and more aware of the risks and this can be incorporated into decision-making. You can make a difference at Nationale-Nederlanden. The paths here aren’t well-trodden yet. You’re given all the scope you need to come up with good ideas, which is unique for a bank. You can do it in a professional environment, where you’ll find enthusiastic people who learn a lot from each other.

Sander Dekker
Risk Analyst, Nationale-Nederlanden Bank