The Global Operational Loss Database or GOLD by RiskBusiness is an international loss data consortium through which participating firms securely and anonymously share risk and loss experiences to facilitate enhanced risk and business decision making.

Established by the British Bankers Association (BBA) in 2000, GOLD represents the first organised non-financial or operational risk data sharing initiative amongst banks. Facilitated by RiskBusiness since 2010, management of GOLD transferred to UK Finance when the BBA merged with several other trade associations in 2017, before being completely outsourced to RiskBusiness at the beginning of 2022.

What is GOLD?

GOLD is a loss data consortium, where participating firms submit their own risk and loss experiences in a pre-defined format at regular intervals into a common data pool, where the submitted data is quality assured and anonymised, then made available to other participants for benchmarking and their own further use.

GOLD is provided to participants as an online forum, through which the entire database can be accessed, along with additional tools to assist with risk and business decision making. These include a comprehensive Taxonomy Library from which participants can access a variety of classification structures and languages, the KRI Library containing in excess of 2,500 detailed specifications of key risk and control indicators or metrics, a suite of industry risk and loss profiles which can be used by participants for benchmarking their own experiences against that of the industry and the Newsflash Library, a set of over 50,000 publicly disclosed losses classified in a common manner to the core GOLD data. 

Who would use GOLD?

GOLD is primarily focussed on the global “banking” industry, covering participants in the global markets, asset and fund management, corporate finance, broker-dealers, retail, commercial and private banks, community banks, credit unions and co-operative banks, international financial institutions and multi-lateral development banks, payment providers, financial infrastructure providers, etc.

As information on business activity (or the so-called Basel business lines) is collected along with the risk and loss event data, the option to filter GOLD into sub-pools specifically relevant to each participant’s business is fully supported, as are filters according to geographic footprint and firm size.

What is GOLD used for?

While some people consider a loss data consortium as primarily providing statistical data around frequency and severity for capital modelling purposes, GOLD has a wide variety of uses:

  • benchmarking the participating firm’s loss experience against peers to identify areas of greater exposure than others;
  • populating areas of the firm’s risk profile where there is either scarce or no risk or loss experience to assist in assessing the firm’s exposure;
  • identifying trends in risk over time, emerging or reoccurring risks;
  • facilitating informed decision-making around new products, new geographic locations, new business activity and new distribution channels through analysis of known risk profiles for the initiatives under consideration; and
  • extracting and employing statistical information on the data pool for a variety of purposes, such as stress testing, capital estimation, performance measurement, insurance pricing and scenario assessment validation.

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