The financial sector plan

Project Management

The financial sector is an essential aspect of the gross domestic product of any country and economy of the world at large. The financial sector in the U.S. is the largest globally, and it presides over a financial market that happens to be the largest in the world. The leadership in charge of the Financial Services sector plan has translated it into a substantial economic activity that has employed many people in the country. This paper considers a brief analysis of the financial services sector plan by taking into consideration the strength, weaknesses, and recommendations for improvement.


The financial sector plan offers significant advantages to the various financial firms, courtesy of its variety of financial products and instruments that are tailored towards allowing the consumers to create wealth, manage the risks, and meet their financial needs. All the subsectors have been taken into consideration, and these include banking, asset management, insurance, venture capital, and private equity, among others (Giglio, Kelly & Pruitt, 2016).

The U.S. treasury has exhibited its ability to influence the working of the monetary system. This is achieved through the management of national debt and being in a position to change deposits with the Federal Reserve banks. As much as only a few of the commercial banks belong to the Federal Reserve System, they hold most of the commercial banks’ deposits. The member banks are in a position to maintain the minimum legal reserves and deposit a percentage of their savings and checking accounts with the Federal Reserve. This is a sound regulatory measure by the financial sector. The financial services sector plan has also empowered security brokerages and insurance companies to provide extensive financial services at their level (Greenwood & Scharfstein, 2013). The credit agencies are sponsored in the areas of home mortgages and higher education, among other areas.

To a greater extent, the treasury department and the FBIIC agencies have been able to prioritize and identify the major infrastructures, and strive to align the strategies on an annual basis. Ideally, the priorities have been set depending on the impact it has on the efficient and orderly operation of the sector and public confidence if the infrastructure was not able to work. There are various factors to be considered in the course of prioritization. These include the need by the public for services supposed to be provided by the asset, level of dependence on the asset, and absence or availability of various alternatives to infrastructure. Other factors include the impact it can have on the disruption of the financial system and the likely effect on the economy that emerges from the disruption of various critical infrastructures and other vital resources (Chen, Filardo, He & Zhu, 2016).

There exists immense effort in the implementation and development of protective programs. Both the private and public sectors have been given crucial roles to play when it comes to the implementation of protective programs. The regulators in the financial sector have regulatory tools which they can be able to deploy in response to an impending crisis. There exist several successful programs that have already been put in place. These include coordinating resources at the regional level in order to protect from the physical security threats, putting in place the sector-specific crisis communication facilities for the events that are already in place, and attempts to strike a balance between the private and regulatory sector organizations (Cummings et al. 2012). Some of the protective programs that are still in place include doing the targeted outreach, establishing the formal information-sharing networks, and also reaching out to the sector coordinating councils as well as law enforcement.

The Financial Services sector plan exhibits a robust framework of metrics that are used in measuring progress. The process incorporates insights and collaboration from the various sector stakeholders that include the regulators and also the sector regulating councils as appropriate. The metrics are developed to address susceptibilities that emerge from the gaps in the sector dependencies, some challenges posed by cyber-crime, and improvements that are supposed to be implemented when it comes to information sharing. The treasury department has been able to function effectively in coordinating with the FBIIC agencies together with the FSSCC when it comes to implementing, updating, and validating the metrics (Giglio, Kelly & Pruitt, 2016).

Another strength that is exhibited by the financial services plan-sector is the incorporation of the research and development (Guo & Liang, 2016). The committees involved in the planning have been able to develop programs and plans that are likely to be beneficial to the key resources and the critical infrastructure for the sector. In order to achieve this, the research and development committee has been able to come up with a few areas that raise issues when it comes to the ability of the finance sector to meet the challenges. Some of the areas that have been highlighted include metrics for rationalizing the return on investment of the infrastructure protection, enforcement of policy and the financial information tracing, addressing and avoiding the insider threat, some suggested standards, and practices, among others. The committee has gone the extra mile to identify some themes that have an immense impact on the financial services sector, and these include the human and social issues, the prevention and protection issues, and the advanced infrastructure architecture.


Given the complexity of the sector in general, the measurement of the resilience efforts by the finance sector plan tends to be difficult to quantify by the use of the standard measurements. The finance sector has a lot of subsets, and therefore it becomes very hard to measure all aspects of the sector. In this case, a one-size-fits-all strategy cannot apply to all the aspects of the sector, and may subsequently weaken the vitality and creativity that is in the sector (Greenwood & Scharfstein, 2013). This may eventually harm the economy of the nation as a whole.

The financial services regulators have also not been very clear when it comes to recovery standards. There is no source for standards and practices that take into consideration the data transmission limitation, the limitations that have to do with the nation’s critical infrastructure, and other aspects such as the account uptime requirements. This is something that is supposed to be prioritized by the planners (Guo & Liang, 2016).

The dynamic nature of the financial and banking sector has posed a unique challenge when it comes to the treasury as well as its private and public sector partners to be updating and improving on the metrics on a continuous basis. The sector is very sensitive to the extent that partners are obliged to remain vigilant about the emerging technologies, as well as the vulnerabilities likely to be faced by the sector, to determine whether the metrics are very appropriate for the sector (Greenwood & Scharfstein, 2013).

Again, the plan does not satisfactorily address the manage risks which are associated with the interdependencies of the sector. This requires a lot of partnerships to get more creative solutions. The finance and the banking sectors are supported by many of the systems in place. There are a lot of advanced technologies that are used to process transactions every day. The transactions include the retail payments, the account balances, the settlement and clearing transactions, and the trade orders, among others. As such, the chances are very high that the information systems can be rendered vulnerable by either the physical or cyber-attacks. Any kind of compromises to the financial services sector’s technology system may subsequently affect the operations of the sector, the confidence that the investors have in the U.S. economy, and even the public trust in general. There is also a need to note that the sector heavily depends on telecommunication. This implies that the disruption in the telecommunication sector in any way may disable the sector when it comes to data communications and maintaining the critical voice and the level that will ensure that the critical operations continue. Since there are interdependencies among the financial services sector participants, a disruption will mean that the payment activities in the local and foreign markets are impaired, with the impaired settlement and trading at large. The financial sector planners can also leverage big data, which can be an obstacle because it involves sorting through torrents of unstructured data to get the only useful information and leave out the information that is not needed (Cummings et al. 2012).

The financial sector handles money, and this happens even during a recession, whereby many businesses are likely to fall. When businesses fail to thrive, there are implications for that in the financial sector because there is a symbiosis relationship between the sectors (Guo & Liang, 2016). There also exists some competition among the subsectors in the financial service sector, an aspect which has not been comprehensively addressed in the finance service sector plan. For instance, banks are in competition not just with the other banks, but also the alternative finance companies. This includes even the insurance companies and mutual fund companies. Competition may spearhead self-interests among some of the partners that are actively involved in the formulation of the Financial Services sector plan. There is also immense competition for financial service clients. For modern customers, one thing that matters most for them is a lot of personalization and services that can easily be accessed (Greenwood & Scharfstein, 2013). The sector is obliged to spearhead the process of ensuring that the institutions can meet the changing customer needs, and subsequently capture their share of the market.

To a greater extent, there is also a threat of regulatory compliance in finance. The consistently changing regulatory environment poses many challenges and may disrupt the financial service sector plan. It may not be an easy task to consistently bridge the gap between the financial service industry and the regulators (Chen, Filardo, He & Zhu, 2016).

Recommendations for improvement

There is a need for the treasury to continue working with the partners from the different sectors to prevent the various risks and collaborate in a bid to get more creative solutions. The treasury is obliged to work with the other players in the sector to determine whether the metrics that are in place are the appropriate metrics or whether there is a need for more improvement (Guo & Liang, 2016). Through working closely with the private and public sector partners, the financial sector stakeholders will be in a better position to identify to pinpoint the gaps in security goals and the sector metrics.

The plan should take into consideration the fact that the financial sector is the most common target as a result of the high potential for financial gains. The attacks may be both innovative and traditional. This should be one area through which research is supposed to prioritize when it comes to the sensor systems and detections (Guo & Liang, 2016). The sector is supposed to be the leader when it comes to combining prevention with detection.

The financial sector has business continuity planning requirements (BCP) that depends on the other sectors. Therefore, there is a need to ensure there is research into standards that meet the requirements in the sector. The benefits here can also be felt by the other industries that have a regulatory obligation but can benefit from the standards for determining the recovery efforts and the present value of BCP (Greenwood & Scharfstein, 2013).

There are emerging threats that are not well known, but the vulnerabilities are always known. Ideally, the threats are normally enacted against the financial sector. This implies that the institutions in the sector should be in a position to spot the threat quickly, determine the likely impact, and promptly react (Greenwood & Scharfstein, 2013). Research on emerging threats can be of great use in reinforcing the financial service sector plan, and this could also be carried to other sectors.

There is a need to consistently invest in ensuring that there is better access to financial services. The financial sector services plan is meant for serving all the households, and these include poor households. Even in a developed economy such as the U.S., this remains a significant challenge. Access to formal savings and payment services is likely to approach universality as the economies grow. There is a need to encourage the development of specific infrastructures as well as the financial market activities which use technology to bring down the transaction costs that are likely to produce the results sooner as compared to the long term institution building (Giglio, Kelly & Pruitt, 2016). Some of the activities that can be used in reinforcing this initiative include using specific identification numbers in order to track and establish the credit histories, reducing costs of such aspects as registering or repossessing collateral, and introduction of some legislation that is tailored towards underpinning the current financial technology. These will include aspects such as mobile finance, electronic finance, factoring, and leasing, among others. Other measures to improve on access entails increased formalization and transparency and enforced lender responsibility (Guo & Liang, 2016). These can be more coherent approaches that are likely to be administratively demanding. All these are tailored towards ensuring access to poor households.

It is a good thing that the private sector has been actively involved in the financial services sector plan. In this process, there is a need to provide the right incentives through prudent regulations. The competition, which helps to foster access, may lead to improper expansion if proper supervisory and regulatory framework is not in place. Some regulations can be imposed on institutions such as banks to help in cutting down on the risks of costly bank failures. There is a need to ensure that those arrangements do not penalize small borrowers (Greenwood & Scharfstein, 2013).

The stakeholders who are actively involved in the financial sector service planning ought to be proactive and be actively engaged in utilizing the metrics in an attempt to mitigate the other institutions in the unlikely events such as the financial crisis (Cummings et al. 2012). By so doing, the financial service sector will be playing a leading role in cushioning the other players in the industry from financial crises. The financial service sector plan should serve as a red tape that can safeguard households, institutions, and businesses from the impending financial crises. The metrics should be leveraged in order to achieve this purpose.

The sector plays a crucial role not only in the local market but also in the global market. It is obliged to ensure that all the financial institutions are able to align their financial services with the tastes and preferences of the customers. There should be a variety of financial services that are aligned with some predetermined standards. As a service-based sector, the financial sector should ensure a range of services, starting from the simple cashing to more complex arrangements that should facilitate the transfer of risks. The institutions ought to be regulated and organized in line with the services that are provided by the institutions. Therefore, the profiling of sectors should happen in line with services offered and standards that are expected at large. Ideally, the categories include the risk transfer products, the investment products, the liquidity and credit products, the payment and deposit systems, and products, among others. Incorporating the standard thresholds will safeguard the U.S. financial services sector as a global sector, apart from meeting the short term and long term needs of the customers through a variety of the financial products (Greenwood & Scharfstein, 2013). Other than a good global reputation, it will ensure a stable investment environment that essential for the growth of the U.S. economy.

Again, social and human issues are likely to affect all industries. However, not all industries tend to be critical on how to run as a society. There is a need for social and human issues to be incorporated in the continuity plans of important areas such as the financial sector. For instance, mass absenteeism as a result of a certain disease may affect the financial performance and can be taken into consideration through promulgation, modelling, and subsequently factored in continuity planning (Cummings et al. 2012).

In conclusion, the financial services sector plan in the U.S. plays a very central role such that there should be minimal room for risks. The plan should take into consideration the loopholes, as it is likely to be the hotbed for attacks. The assessment of the financial services sector plan in the U.S. shows that the sector exhibits a lot of strength, such as the availability of some metrics, protective programs, incorporation of research, and development, among other measures. However, there are also some vulnerabilities and weaknesses, especially when it comes to security (which requires more reinforcement).


Chen, Q., Filardo, A., He, D., & Zhu, F. (2016). Financial crisis, U.S. unconventional monetary policy, and international spillovers. Journal of International Money and Finance, 67, 62-81.

Cummings, A., Lewellen, T., McIntire, D., Moore, A. P., & Trzeciak, R. (2012). Insider threat study: Illicit cyber activity involving fraud in the U.S. financial services sector (No. CMU/SEI-2012-SR-004).CARNEGIE-MELLON UNIV PITTSBURGH PA SOFTWARE ENGINEERING INST.

Giglio, S., Kelly, B., & Pruitt, S. (2016). Systemic risk and the macroeconomy: An empirical evaluation. Journal of Financial Economics, 119(3), 457-471.

Greenwood, R., & Scharfstein, D. (2013). The growth of finance. Journal of Economic Perspectives, 27(2), 3-28.

Guo, Y., & Liang, C. (2016). Blockchain application and outlook in the banking industry. Financial Innovation, 2(1), 24.

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