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FERMA disputes need for risk management standard


BRUSSELS, Belgium—A formal international risk management standard would not benefit European companies, according to the Federation of European Risk Management Associations.

In a position paper on proposals by the Geneva, Switzerland-based International Organization for Standardization to create a risk management standard, FERMA said it believed such a standard would be too inflexible for such a broad discipline as risk management.

Brussels, Belgium-based FERMA said it would prefer instead for the ISO document to be described as a "reference guide, framework, general principles or list of best practice."

FERMA said that, among other things, an international ISO standard on risk management would be undesirable because of the "substantial internal and external resources needed to implement and maintain the standard, which may have a serious effect on competitiveness, and considerable additional paperwork, without commensurate benefits."

FERMA also said that compliance with standards may sometimes give a false sense of security to regulators, clients, shareholders and third parties.

European risk manager representatives have disputed the need for an ISO risk management standard since the idea was first mooted 10 years ago, FERMA said.

The final version of the proposed ISO standard is slated to be published in 2009.