Futures firms pore over disaster test results

Futures firms pore over disaster test results

Market entities representing approximately 96% of US futures trading volume participated in the first industry-wide disaster recovery tests earlier this month.

The eight and a half-hour test, which was organised by the Futures Industry Association's (FIA) information technology division, was designed so that brokerage firms could test the connectivity between their back-up sites and the exchanges' back-up sites.

Six exchanges, five clearinghouses, several key service providers and 90 futures commission merchants participated in the test.

The FIA says the run-through provided an opportunity to identify specific points of failure and weaknesses in market-wide contingency planning. Feedback from the tests will be used to produce a refined test plan for 2005.

The tests come weeks after the US Government Accountability Office released a damning report on the ability of securities markets firms to recover from a major disaster.

FIA President John Damgard, comments: "One of the most important lessons we have learned from the September 11 attacks in 2001, the massive power outage of 2003, and other disasters is that all of us in this industry have to rely on each other at times of crisis. That's why it is so important to test the lines of communication that link the firms to the exchanges to make sure that we can continue doing business in case of emergency."

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