SIFMA chief comments on industry-wide business continuity tests

The Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA) issued the following statement from president and CEO Kenneth Bentsen, on the successful completion of the industry-wide test:

“On October 24, SIFMA led a successful business continuity test. This test is a critical exercise which highlights our industry’s ability to operate through a significant emergency using backup sites, recovery facilities and backup communications capabilities across the industry. The test combined large scale connectivity testing with the annual test program mandated by Regulation SCI.

“Regulation SCI requires that each SCI entity designate members and participants to take part in an annual business continuity and disaster recovery plan test, and SIFMA facilitates a coordinated testing program for the industry as part of our business continuity planning and disaster recovery work. Reg SCI entities completed their testing requirements in parallel with the SIFMA industry test.

“The exercise involves test transactions for equities, options, fixed income, settlement, payments, and market data. Participants in the SIFMA test included approximately 100 securities firms and 80 market organizations. During the test, approximately 2,000 communications connections were established between securities firms and banks and the exchanges, markets and utilities. Reg SCI testing included simulated trading days for all Reg SCI exchanges and ATSs, along with simulated post-trade activity for clearing utilities, as well as simulated regulatory trade reporting. The successful test underscores the ability of the securities industry to operate through adverse conditions, which is particularly important given the COVID-19 global pandemic.

“Financial services is a critical infrastructure sector as defined by the US Department of Homeland Security. Its assets, systems and networks, whether physical or virtual, are so vital to the US that their incapacitation or destruction would have a debilitating effect on security, national economic security and national public health or safety. Now more than ever, with cybersecurity an ever-increasing threat and a global health crisis, business continuity testing and preparedness is essential.”

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