Inherent and Residual Risk

published on 21 November 2022

3-minute read

Inherent risk and residual risk are simple but important concepts to grasp when assessing risk. This article explores how these concepts fit into a risk management programme and why it's important to know your numbers!


  • Inherent risk – the amount of risk in the absence of controls
  • Residual risk – the amount of risk after the application of controls

💡Inherent risk is before controls are applied, residual risk is after

  • Risk control – a process, policy, or action designed to modify a risk
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Assessing Risk

When assessing risk, it is important to use quantitative and qualitative methods. Running a collaborative Risk and Control Self Assessment (RCSA) workshop with relevant stakeholders allows the following questions to be answered:

  1. What are the inherent risks?
  2. What is the likelihood and potential impact of the risks?
  3. What control are in place and, how effective are they?
  4. What are the residual risks?

💡It is important to consider the level of risk the business is willing to take in order to achieve its strategic objectives!

Business Currency Risk

At Oku Markets, we utilise a carefully designed suite of currency risk measurements to calculate a business' inherent risk and residual risk. In other words, we calculate the level of risk that a business is exposed to before and after implementing a hedging programme. 

When designing a currency hedging strategy, it's important to follow these steps:

  1. Outline the business' objectives and risk appetite
  2. Consider the business' sales, stock, and pricing cycles
  3. Understand the competitive environment in the business' marketplace
  4. Identify and assess (measure) currency risks – inherent risk
  5. Qualitative assessment including "what if" questions
  6. Develop hedging strategies to fit around the business' unique circumstances
  7. Back-test and forward-test to demonstrate effectiveness – residual risk
  8. Select the most appropriate strategy based on quantitative and qualitative tests

Need our help?

Implementing an effective currency risk strategy can be a daunting task and, there are many FX companies that aren't up to that task! This is where we come in...

We're proud to work transparently with our clients, and we work hard to break the asymmetry of knowledge and information in the FX market. 

You can contact us for a review of your currency processes and for our guidance and suggestions at [email protected] or 0203 838 0250.

Thanks for reading 👋

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