Financial services firms ready for next disaster

Britain’s top financial institutions are “well prepared” to cope with a terrorist attack or natural disaster in London, a survey has concluded.

But the research – conducted by the City watchdog the Financial Services Authority (FSA) – found that continuity planning across the financial sector could be improved.

Too many critical functions and back-up sites are based in London, it found.

The research – covering 60 of the UK’s top financial firms – indicates that the sector is well-prepared in terms of overall security.

IT systems are highly resilient, meaning that firms could resume vital functions rapidly following any disruption.

The FSA, Bank of England and the Treasury have been working with leading financial institutions since 2001 to ensure they can respond quickly and effectively in the event of a major incident.

However, more collaboration is needed between firms and their suppliers in areas such as testing and risk assessment, the research found.

London companies are advised to keep a business recovery site up to four miles away from their head office but also maintain an alternative operation outside the M25 to spread risk.

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