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Scrutinise your pandemic contingency plans

With the number of confirmed swine flu cases continuing to rise, a global benchmarking survey of financial institutions has revealed that, although over 70% of firms have a pandemic-specific business continuity programme in place, many may be dangerously out of date.

https://www.finextra.com/fullstory.asp?id=19996

30% of those programmes have not been reviewed for at least 12 months, while 42% have not been tested for at least a year.

This has to raise questions about how prepared financial institutions actually are.

I know of a firm who when they actually re-circulated their Contingency Plan, on the perfectly valid assumption that everyone had filed it away but forgotten where they’d put it, they found that

* with all the recent downsizing some key players were no longer with the company – do you revise your plan every time someone leaves?

* as a cost-cutting exercise they had recalled Company-issued Cellphones & BlackBerrys – and consequently some of the Phone numbers in the calling tree were no longer valid

* some thus impacted employees did not have a personal cellphone, or had declined to provide their personal number for what they saw as a ‘business use’

* some key players had moved home in the previous year, and so their residential phone numbers were out of date

The devil is in the detail.

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Keith Appleyard

Keith Appleyard

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