On 11 July 2019, the FCA published a new web page setting out its findings following a recent review of business continuity planning amongst a number of small and medium-sized retail banks, payment institutions and electronic money institutions.
The FCA reports that most firms demonstrated a good understanding of the importance of business continuity planning (BCP). However, it also found some important areas where improvements could be made. In particular, the FCA found examples where firms did not fully understand the link between large-scale change projects and BCP. It also saw examples where firms were assigning the management and oversight of events to staff at too low a level in their organisation.
The FCA’s webpage sets out examples of good practice and potential areas for enhancement.
The FCA encourages all firms to familiarise themselves with the concepts outlined in the recent Discussion Paper on operational resilience that it co-published with the PRA as well as the relevant areas of the FCA Handbook.
The FCA expects firms, on an ongoing basis, to carry out self-assessments of policies, frameworks and plans, considering their own strengths and weaknesses, relative to BCP.
The FCA also refers firms to its 2019/20 Business Plan which sets out specific activities that will be undertaken on the subject of operational resilience. This includes the FCA deepening its understanding and assessing firms approaches to change management and third-party service provider management.
The FCA warns firms that operational resilience will remain a key area of focus going forward and that it will be engaging firms on this issue on an ongoing basis.