Actuaries in Banking

There are many possibilities for actuaries in banking Robert L. Brown

As I booked my flight for Cape Town last May, little did I know that there would be two purposes to my trip.

At that time, I had a single focus: to attend the semi-annual meetings of the International Actuarial Association (IAA). It was soon thereafter that I was asked to join the board of contributing editors of The Actuary. At our board meeting in July, we mapped out six general topics upon which our six 2017 issues would focus, and divided the responsibility for each issue to a member of the board. I was chosen to head up an issue that would focus on actuaries in banking.

My brain tweaked (a rare event indeed). I remembered that the Actuarial Society of South Africa was planning a seminar on actuaries in banking the day after the IAA meetings. What a wonderful coincidence! After extending my stay for the extra day, I registered for the banking seminar. I spent my time at the seminar lining up the authors who wrote the feature articles in this issue. As you will see, they are from all over the world: South Africa, Australia, the United Kingdom, Canada and the United States.

If you get a chance to read all six feature articles, you will discover that Canada and the United States lag behind their counterparts in South Africa and Australia in this practice specialty. It actually took a fair bit of work to find four actuaries truly working in banking for our article on the United States and Canada. But, given the advanced evolution of actuaries in banking in South Africa and Australia, and given that the professions there have created solid educational material, it would be relatively easy for the rest of us to catch up once a decision to do so is made.

In fact, as indicated in the article about banking in the United Kingdom, it is not necessary for us to create our own tuition material. The United Kingdom is also looking at the possibility of tying in with existing banking bodies such as the Chartered Institute of Bankers, which already has developed a range of educational materials for banking. Thus, it might be possible for the SOA to find an existing credential that meets our needs and standards, and then consider giving the attainment of that parallel credential some appropriate level of credit in a possible future FSA track.

There are myriad possibilities, as described in this issue. Read, learn and enjoy.

Robert L. Brown, FSA, ACAS, FCIA, HONFIA, is a contributing editor for The Actuary and a past president of the Society of Actuaries.