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Data Governance and BCBS 239

Data Governance in the Banking Sector

As the banking world became increasingly digital, and in the glare of the financial crisis of 2007-2009, the importance of data governance and risk management has never been greater. In the banking sector, BCBS 239 is the set of principles issued by the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision that aims to improve the risk management and governance of large and internationally active banks. In this blog post, we will explore some of the key principles of BCBS 239 and how service pods can help banks in the UK comply with these principles and improve their data governance.

Data Governance and BCBS 239

BCBS 239 focuses on four key areas: governance, "risk data aggregation and reporting", "risk management and internal controls", and supervisory review and evaluation. The first principle is to establish an effective governance framework, which includes ensuring that the board of directors and senior management are fully involved in overseeing the bank's risk management processes. The second principle is to ascertain that the bank has the ability to aggregate and report on risk data in a timely and accurate manner. The third principle is to ensure that the bank has effective risk management and internal controls in place. The fourth principle is to ensure that the bank is subject to appropriate supervisory review and evaluation.

There are other principles, and readers who wish to drill down that rabbit hole can fill their boots here: Basel Committee on Banking Supervision

In May 2018, the European Central Bank noted that "Thus far, none of those significant institutions – some of which are classified as global systemically important banks – have fully implemented the BCBS 239 principles". In 2020 BIS said, "None of the banks are fully compliant with the Principles in terms of building up the necessary data architecture and, for many, IT infrastructure remains difficult." In May 2022 BIS confirmed "the importance of banks implementing the principles set out", we await clarification on compliance. So, where are you on your compliance journey?

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Data Governance Service Pods

One way that banks can comply with these principles and improve their overall data governance is by using service pods. Service pods are a flexible and cost-effective solution that allows banks to insource certain functions, such as data management and reporting, from a third-party provider. This can help banks to improve their data governance talent pool by ensuring that they have access to the latest technology and expertise while reducing the risk of errors and fraud through a consistent and knowledgeable team.

Benefits of Data Governance Service Pods

One of the key benefits of using service pods is that they can help banks to improve their staff retention. At Mastech, we have a staff retention rate of 91%, which is significantly higher than the industry average. This is because Mastech values, rewards, and motivates its employees, and our service pods model is designed to support our staff and provide them with the training and development opportunities they need to excel in their roles and, crucially, advance. They are happy, they feel nurtured, and they stay. The stability and experience that come with longevity help us make sure our staff has the skills and expertise they need to deliver high-quality services to our clients, and to you. This, in turn, means you retain access to that experience and those skills long-term.

Mastech Data Governance Services

Mastech specializes in helping organizations with their Data-in-motion, Data-as-an-asset, and Data Activation to leverage the value chain of their data. By doing so, we can put the data and governance that the bank needs for BCBS239 in front of the key processes, people, and technology – which helps them unlock better reporting, governance, and ultimately decision-making. This includes analysing customer data in a secure dedicated clean room to identify exposure or using data analytics to improve operational efficiency and reduce risk. There are few areas of a bank's business that will not benefit from better data decisions. And justified trust in data will help you make better decisions faster.


To wrap up, data governance is a critical aspect of the banking sector, and BCBS 239 is a set of principles that aim to improve the risk management and governance of large and internationally active banks – the correlation here should be obvious. Service pods can help banks in the UK comply with these principles and improve their data governance by providing access to the latest technology and expertise and reducing the risk of errors and fraud. With our service pods, banks can improve their staff retention and optimize their value chain for data, which in turn will help to ensure that they are providing high-quality data in their governance and reporting and boost their compliance.


1. Basel Committee on Banking Supervision. (2021). BCBS 239: Principles for effective risk data aggregation and risk reporting.

2. European Central Bank. (2018). Report on the implementation of the BCBS 239 principles.

3. Bank for International Settlements. (2020). Implementation of the BCBS 239 principles.


John Harrington

Consultant CIO, CDO Advisory and Strategic Data Management Consultant

John Harrington, a Consultant CIO and Strategic Data Management expert with a distinguished track record, is recognized globally for his leadership in Data Governance and Master Data Management.