IFAs may get access to a scaled down version of the 1,000-question long questionnaire used as the basis for assessing the latest disaster recovery exercise for the financial services sector jointly conducted by the FSA, HM Treasury and the Bank of England.
An FSA spokesman has confirmed the regulator is looking at how to develop such an option for the SME (small to medium sized enterprise) sector following on from the recent exercise conducted by the so-called Tripartite Authority, which involved some 60 of the biggest providers.
That exercise resulted in some benchmarking figures that should help individual companies better prepare for disasters, while the sector overall is deemed better prepared than it was a year ago.
It is very much the case that “almost all” the firms participating in the exercise have found additional weaknesses in their “business continuity arrangements”, which they will improve on the basis of findings made, Hector Sants, FSA managing director wholesale firms division says in a statement released by the regulator.
“We will aim to build on our existing approach of identifying what constitutes good practice and sharing this with firms.”
The spokesman says the exercise will not result in any new benchmarking requirements that IFAs would have to make reference to when judging strength of financial providers.
“There is no judgement involved. It is about benchmarking the resilience of the overall sector,” he says.
Although those taking part in the exercise will be getting individual benchmarking reports, these are only intended for internal use.
The FSA is working on making the benchmarking methodology available for wider use, which may result in a self-assessment option for those in the SME space to do their own benchmarking exercises relevant to disaster preparation.
Disaster recovery plans in different sectors of the UK economy have become mandatory following recent years’ terrorist activities and other disasters that pose significant threats to physical and other infrastructure.IFAonline
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