THE BANK for International Settlements (BIS) has published new, high-level business continuity guidelines following a year of research.
The BIS, which acts as the central bank for central banks and is behind the Basel II Accord, said recent acts of terrorism, SARS and widespread natural disasters have underlined the need for increased resilience within the global financial system. Moreover, the Bank said at the international level, there has been a failure to draw together the lessons learned from major disruptive events and to produce guidelines that work across national boundaries and banking sectors.
Ian Johnston, chairman of the joint forum of the BIS’s Basel Committee said that while efforts have been ongoing, the draft guidelines will go some way to establishing a common global framework. “Many organisations active in the financial services industry already have in place effective approaches to business continuity management,” Johnston said. “I believe this paper takes business continuity a step further, making a valuable contribution to systemic resilience by establishing a common global framework for approaching key business continuity issues and highlighting concepts that are relatively new in this area. One aspect of the paper that I think organisations will find particularly helpful is the manner in which the principles are driven home by linking them explicitly to the lessons learned from actual operational disruptions.”
The BIS paper draws on a number of recent operational incidents and details the incident, the response and the lessons learned in each case. It covers the US/Canadian mass power outage of 2003, the impact of SARS on the Hong Kong and Canadian securities markets, the Niigata Chuetsu earthquake, which hit Japan on 23 October 2003 and the 7 July terrorist attacks in London.
The draft principles themselves cover board and senior management responsibilities, major operational disruptions, recovery objectives, communications, cross-border communications, testing and business continuity management reviews.
Stuart Fagg is the Editor of Risk Managementmagazine, Lawyers Weekly’s sister publication