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FFIEC Releases Updated Pandemic Guidance

By Vigilize | Monday, March 9, 2020 - Leave a Comment

As reports of Coronavirus spread, the agency has updated its 2007 guidance…


An article review.


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As what began as a few isolated incidents late last year have bloomed into a what some are calling a pandemic, fears of Coronavirus (also known as COVID-19) have spread into nearly all sectors…and banking is no exception.

In light of these recent fears, the FFIEC has updated its pandemic planning guidance, which was last revised in 2007.  The ten page guidance update focuses on the differences between traditional business continuity planning (BCP) and planning for a pandemic…the key difference being that traditional business disruptions due to natural or man-made disasters are typically short-term in duration, and a pandemic may represent a sustained disruption to operations. Additionally, the scope of a pandemic is typically much larger than a natural disaster, potentially causing disruptions across large regions of the world.

The FFIEC also stresses the importance of considering pandemics when conducting a business impact analysis (BIA), as a pandemic may render some aspects of planning inadequate.  As an example, transferring to alternate facilities as one would during a natural disaster would likely be ineffective, and resources that may be available during a localized natural disaster may not be available during a sustained, widespread viral outbreak.

Finally, the guidance links out to several other organizations which are providing resources regarding pandemic planning, including the CDC, OSHA, and the Department of Veterans Affairs.  While the ultimate impact of Coronavirus may not be known yet, with proper planning and preparedness we can help make sure that whatever disruptions take place are as minimal as possible.

 


Original article by the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council.


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