Global financial services institutions are facing growing exposure to risk from a variety of factors, including mega-mergers, off-shoring, outsourcing, greater regulation, and the need to manage an increased volume of lending. These factors are causing a very large proportion of these institutions - 81 percent - to establish the position of chief risk officer (CRO), according to Deloitte's biannual Global Risk Management Survey.

The number of large institutions with chief risk officers has increased from 65 percent since the last survey was conducted in 2002. The survey also shows that three quarters of CROs in financial services firms report to their chief executive or the board of directors. There has also been a 25 percent increase in board-level oversight of risk management over the last two years.

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