2plan Wealth Management has become the first national IFA firm to enact a successful two-way disaster recovery trial in only ten hours.
It restored 100% functionality in the time following a complete shut down of all computer systems, servers and resources.
The FSA has been working with firms on how to deal with the fallout from a disaster since the attacks on the World Trade Centre in 2001.
The Regulator is also assessing the impact on regulated firms of severe weather following last month's floods. A report from its work with 80 businesses to examine their preparedness for office evacuation and relocation is due in early 2010.
In two different disaster recovery scenarios, 2plan tested the loss of their Leeds HQ and office data centre, as well as the loss of both the data centre and all access to the head office itself.
IT systems were isolated from the internet and powered down giving the impression a disaster had hit the main systems knocking them out of action.
Offsite disaster recovery servers 220 miles away were then brought online to re-link the head office with the company servers.
David Child, managing director of technology suppliers, 1st - The Exchange, says: "Since 2002, following the terrorist attacks in the US which saw the regulator's Canary Wharf HQ temporarily close, the FSA has been working to ensure firms are "properly prepared" when operations are disrupted.
"Despite this, very few adviser firms have ever attempted a complete disaster recovery in the way that 2plan has and to our knowledge, none has been done so thoroughly and successfully."
Having begun the process at 8am, Mark Smith, IT director of 2plan says: "By 5pm we had performed all tests to ensure staff could work normally, process business, pay commission etc and we were happy that the testing was 100% successful at head office."
Chris Smallwood, chief executive of 2plan says: "After all the hard work Mark and his team put in we were then able to test the systems from an adviser member point of view. We set ourselves up with dummy adviser logins and ran through everything from factfind to email, ensuring business submissions could be sent up to head office.
"By 6pm we had powered back up all our main servers and reverted back to our live system".
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