Standard Chartered fined £46.5m by Bank of England over reporting failures

Link: https://www.theguardian.com/business/2021/dec/20/standard-chartered-fined-bank-of-england-pra

Excerpt:

The Bank of England has fined Standard Chartered £46.5m for repeatedly misreporting its liquidity position and for “failing to be open and cooperative” with the regulator.

The Bank’s Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) said Standard Chartered had made five errors in reporting an important liquidity metric between March 2018 and May 2019, which meant the watchdog did not have a reliable overview of the bank’s US dollar liquidity position.

…..

One of the errors occurred in November 2018, as a result of a mistake in a spreadsheet entry. A positive amount was included when a zero or negative value was expected, leading to an $7.9bn (£6bn) over-reporting of the bank’s dollar liquidity position.

Author(s): Joanna Partridge

Publication Date: 20 Dec 2021

Publication Site: The Guardian

Emerging Technologies and their Impact on Actuarial Science

Link: https://www.soa.org/globalassets/assets/files/resources/research-report/2021/2021-emerging-technologies-report.pdf

Graphic:

Excerpt:

This research evaluates the current state and future outlook of emerging technologies on the actuarial profession
over a three-year horizon. For the purpose of this report, a technology is considered to be a practical application of
knowledge (as opposed to a specific vendor) and is considered emerging when the use of the particular technology
is not already widespread across the actuarial profession. This report looks to evaluate prospective tools that
actuaries can use across all aspects and domains of work spanning Life and Annuities, Health, P&C, and Pensions in
relation to insurance risk.
We researched and grouped similar technologies together for ease of reading and understanding. As a result, we
identified the six following technology groups:

  1. Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence
  2. Business Intelligence Tools and Report Generators
  3. Extract-Transform-Load (ETL) / Data Integration and Low-Code Automation Platforms
  4. Collaboration and Connected Data
  5. Data Governance and Sharing
  6. Digital Process Discovery (Process Mining / Task Mining)

Author(s):

Nicole Cervi, Deloitte
Arthur da Silva, FSA, ACIA, Deloitte
Paul Downes, FIA, FCIA, Deloitte
Marwah Khalid, Deloitte
Chenyi Liu, Deloitte
Prakash Rajgopal, Deloitte
Jean-Yves Rioux, FSA, CERA, FCIA, Deloitte
Thomas Smith, Deloitte
Yvonne Zhang, FSA, FCIA, Deloitte

Publication Date: October 2021

Publication Site: Society of Actuaries, SOA Research Institute

Top Excel experts will battle it out in an esports-like competition this weekend

Link:https://www.pcworld.com/article/559001/the-future-of-esports-is-microsoft-excel-and-its-on-espn.html

Graphic:

Excerpt:

Move over, League of Legends. Does anyone even care about Overwatch? No, the real future of esports is spreadsheets and Microsoft Excel. Don’t believe us? Then tune in to ESPN3 or YouTube this weekend to find out.

No, this isn’t a joke. The Financial Modeling World Cup will be held this weekend entirely in Microsoft Excel. And the finals (the quarterfinals, semifinals, and the final match) will all be broadcast live as they happen at 9 AM PT. Everyone’s playing for a total prize of $10,000 — funded by Microsoft, of course.

Author(s):Mark Hachman

Publication Date: 10 Dec 2021

Publication Site: PC World

Emerging Technologies and their Impact on Actuarial Science

Link:https://www.soa.org/resources/research-reports/2021/emerging-technologies-and-their-impact-on-actuarial-science/

Full report: https://www.soa.org/globalassets/assets/files/resources/research-report/2021/2021-emerging-technologies-report.pdf

Graphic:

Excerpt:

Technologies that have reached widespread adoption today:
o Dynamic Collaboration Tools – e.g., Microsoft Teams, Slack, Miro – Most companies are now using this
type of technology. Some are using the different functionalities (e.g., digital whiteboarding, project
management tools, etc.) more fully than others at this time.
• Technologies that are reaching early majority adoption today:
o Business Intelligence Tools (Data Visualization component) – e.g., Tableau, Power BI — Most
respondents have started their journey in using these tools, with many having implemented solutions.
While a few respondents are lagging in its adoption, some companies have scaled applications of this
technology to all actuaries. BI tools will change and accelerate the way actuaries diagnose results,
understand results, and communicate insights to stakeholders.
o ML/AI on structured data – e.g., R, Python – Most respondents have started their journey in using
these techniques, but the level of maturity varies widely. The average maturity is beyond the piloting
phase amongst our respondents. These are used for a wide range of applications in actuarial functions,
including pricing business, modeling demand, performing experience studies, predicting lapses to
support sales and marketing, producing individual claims reserves in P&C, supporting accelerated
underwriting and portfolio scoring on inforce blocks.
o Documentation Generators (Markdown) – e.g., R Markdown, Sphinx – Many respondents have started
using these tools, but maturity level varies widely. The average maturity for those who have started
amongst our respondents is beyond the piloting phase. As the use of R/Python becomes more prolific
amongst actuaries, the ability to simultaneously generate documentation and reports for developed
applications and processes will increase in importance.
o Low-Code ETL and Low-Code Programming — e.g., Alteryx, Azure Data Factory – Amongst respondents
who provided responses, most have started their journey in using these tools, but the level of maturity
varies widely. The average maturity is beyond the piloting phase with our respondents. Low-code ETL
tools will be useful where traditional ETL tools requiring IT support are not sufficient for business
needs (e.g., too difficult to learn quickly for users or reviewers, ad-hoc processes) or where IT is not
able to provision views of data quickly enough.
o Source Control Management – e.g., Git, SVN – A sizeable proportion of the respondents are currently
using these technologies. Amongst these respondents, solutions have already been implemented.
These technologies will become more important in the context of maintaining code quality for
programming-based models and tools such as those developed in R/Python. The value of the
technology will be further enhanced with the adoption of DevOps practices and tools, which blur the
lines between Development and Operations teams to accelerate the deployment of
applications/programs

Author(s):

Nicole Cervi, Deloitte
Arthur da Silva, FSA, ACIA, Deloitte
Paul Downes, FIA, FCIA, Deloitte
Marwah Khalid, Deloitte
Chenyi Liu, Deloitte
Prakash Rajgopal, Deloitte
Jean-Yves Rioux, FSA, CERA, FCIA, Deloitte
Thomas Smith, Deloitte
Yvonne Zhang, FSA, FCIA, Deloitte

Publication Date: SOA

Publication Site: October 2021

How persuasive chatbots might be used in insurance

Graphic:

Excerpt:

Individuals have a different kind of relationship with insurance than what they have with any other product or service. Though being the most effective risk mitigation tool, it still requires a hard push from insurers and regulators to make people purchase. The thought of insurance could evoke every other emotion except joy in an individual. The main reason for this is that insurance is a futuristic promise that assures compensation when a covered risk event happens. This operates exactly opposite to the strong impulse of scarcity and immediacy bias.

As in any other industry, the persuadable events in insurance could be based on reactive or proactive triggers to encourage positive or discourage negative events. Depending on the intelligence ingrained in the back-end systems and the extent customer data is consolidated, the proactive persuasion events could be personalized to a customer and not just limited to generalized promotion of a new product or program. It could be performed for other persuadable events of the same policy for which the chat is in progress or expand to include policy events from other policies of the customer.

An indicative list of the persuadable events in an insurance policy could be categorized as given in Table 2.

Author(s): Srivathsan Karanai Margan

Publication Date: September/October 2021

Publication Site: Contingencies

Excel autocorrect errors still plague genetic research

Link: https://cosmosmagazine.com/science/biology/excel-autocorrect-errors-still-plague-genetic-research/

Graphic:

Excerpt:

Earlier this year we repeated our analysis. This time we expanded it to cover a wider selection of open access journals, anticipating researchers and journals would be taking steps to prevent such errors appearing in their supplementary data files.

We were shocked to find in the period 2014 to 2020 that 3,436 articles, around 31% of our sample, contained gene name errors. It seems the problem has not gone away, and is actually getting worse.

Author(s): Mark Ziemann, Deakin University and Mandhri Abeysooriya, Deakin University

Publication Date: 27 August 2021

Publication Site: Cosmos magazine

Insurance Futures: Global trends and issues reshaping the insurance landscape to 2035

Link: https://www.internationalinsurance.org/sites/default/files/2021-07/Milliman_Insurance_futures_compilation_7.2021_2.pdf

Graphic:

Excerpt:

The long-term security of coastal regions depends not simply on climate, oceans and geography,
but on multiple local factors, from the politics of foreign aid and investor confidence, to the
quality of resilience-oriented designs and ‘managed retreat’.


Take some examples. In 2017, the drought in Cape Town and lack of resilient water infrastructure
led to a downgrade by Moody’s. Wildfires in the Trinity Public Utilities District in California
led to similar downgrades in 2019. Moody’s have developed a ‘heat map’3 that shows the credit
exposure to environmental risk across sectors representing US$74.6 trillion in debt. In the short
term, the unregulated utilities and power companies are exposed to ‘elevated risk’. The risks to
automobile manufacturers, oil and gas independents and transport companies are growing.
Blackrock’s report from April 2019, focused primarily on physical climate risk, showed that
securities backed by commercial real estate mortgages could be confronted with losses of up
to 3.8 per cent due to storm and flood related cash flow shortages.4 Climate change has already
reduced local GDP, with Miami top of the list. The report was amongst the first to link high-level
climate risk to location analysis of assets such as plants, property and equipment.


In other words, adaptation and resilience options are also uniquely local. The outcomes hinge
on mapping long-term interdependencies to predict physical world changes and explore how
core economic and social systems transition to a sustainable world.

Publication Date: July 2021

Publication Site: International Insurance Society

Intro to Financial Modelling – Part 19: Wrap-up

Link: https://www.icaew.com/technical/technology/excel/excel-community/excel-community-articles/2021/intro-to-financial-modelling-part-19

Graphic:

Excerpt:

There has been significant disruption in how organisations conduct business and the way we work over the past year and a half. However, financial modellers and developers have had to continue to build, refine and test their models throughout these unprecedented times. Figure 1 below summarises the areas we have covered in the blog series and how they fit together to form the practical guidance of how to follow and implement the Financial Modelling Code.

Author(s): Andrew Paw

Publication Date: 19 August 2021

Publication Site: ICAEW

The Life Modeling Problem: A Comparison of Julia, Rust, Python, and R

Link: https://juliaactuary.org/blog/life-modeling-problem/

Graphic:

Excerpt:

All of the submissions and algorithms above worked, and fast enough that it gave an answer in very little time. And much of the time, the volume of data to process is small enough that it doesn’t matter.

But remember the CUNA Mutual example from above: Let’s say that CUNA’s runtime is already as fast as it can be, and index it to the fastest result in the benchmarks below. The difference between the fastest “couple of days” run and the slowest would be over 721 years. So it’s important to use tools and approaches that are performant for actuarial work.

So for little one-off tasks it doesn’t make a big difference what tool or algorthim is used. More often than not, your one-off calculatons or checks will be done fast enough that it’s not important to be picky. But if wanting to scale your work to a broader application within your company or the industry, I think it’s important to be perfromance-minded[4].

Author(s): Alec Loudenback

Publication Date: 16 May 2021

Publication Site: JuliaActuary

Julia for Actuaries

Link: https://juliaactuary.org/blog/julia-actuaries/

Excerpt:

Looking at other great tools like R and Python, it can be difficult to summarize a single reason to motivate a switch to Julia, but hopefully this article piqued an interest to try it for your next project.

That said, Julia shouldn’t be the only tool in your tool-kit. SQL will remain an important way to interact with databases. R and Python aren’t going anywhere in the short term and will always offer a different perspective on things!

In an earlier article, I talked about becoming a 10x Actuary which meant being proficient in the language of computers so that you could build and implement great things. In a large way, the choice of tools and paradigms shape your focus. Productivity is one aspect, expressiveness is another, speed one more. There are many reasons to think about what tools you use and trying out different ones is probably the best way to find what works best for you.

It is said that you cannot fully conceptualize something unless your language has a word for it. Similar to spoken language, you may find that breaking out of spreadsheet coordinates (and even a dataframe-centric view of the world) reveals different questions to ask and enables innovated ways to solve problems. In this way, you reward your intellect while building more meaningful and relevant models and analysis.

Author(s): Alec Loudenback

Publication Date: 9 July 2020

Publication Site: JuliaActuary

Autocorrect errors in Excel still creating genomics headache

Link: https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-021-02211-4

Graphic:

Excerpt:

In 2016, Mark Ziemann and his colleagues at the Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute in Melbourne, Australia, quantified the problem. They found that one-fifth of papers in top genomics journals contained gene-name conversion errors in Excel spreadsheets published as supplementary data2. These data sets are frequently accessed and used by other geneticists, so errors can perpetuate and distort further analyses.

However, despite the issue being brought to the attention of researchers — and steps being taken to fix it — the problem is still rife, according to an updated and larger analysis led by Ziemann, now at Deakin University in Geelong, Australia3. His team found that almost one-third of more than 11,000 articles with supplementary Excel gene lists published between 2014 and 2020 contained gene-name errors (see ‘A growing problem’).

Simple checks can detect autocorrect errors, says Ziemann, who researches computational reproducibility in genetics. But without those checks, the errors can easily go unnoticed because of the volume of data in spreadsheets.

Author(s): Dyani Lewis

Publication Date: 13 August 2021

Publication Site: nature

Virtual Meetup: To Err is Human but to ISERR is Never OK!

Video description:

Have you ever built a perfect financial model without any errors? Thought not! And for that reason, all good modellers know they need to include some error checks. But what is not as clear is how many error checks you should have, when you should include them and what form they should take. Excel “helpfully” provided us with functions like ISERR, ISERROR and IFERROR but as you progress your modelling journey you should learn to avoid these functions. Plus, you also learn the sad truth that Excel can’t even do basic maths sometimes! Join us to hear from financial modelling specialist Andrew Berg, who has spent years building models, and so happily admits he has probably already made most of the mistakes you haven’t yet had a chance to! The good news is that he is willing to share the tips he has learned about the right types of error checks to add to your models so you don’t have to learn the hard way. ★Download the resources here ► https://plumsolutions.com.au/virtual-… ★Register for more meetups like this ► https://plumsolutions.com.au/meetup/ ★Connect with Andrew on Linkedin ► https://www.linkedin.com/in/andrew-be…

Author(s): Andrew Berg, Danielle Stein Fairhurst

Publication Date: 2 June 2021

Publication Site: YouTube