Britain's financial sector is conducting a market-wide business continuity test today that will assess firms' readiness for dealing with a major crisis such as a natural disaster or a terrorist attack.
The FSA says this year's test is the largest business continuity exercise of its type ever undertaken.
Some 80 firms operating from regional centres across the UK are participating in the annual tests, together with the Financial Services Authority (FSA), Bank of England and HM Treasury.
Consultants KPMG and Crisis Solutions planned the scenario that will form the basis of the virtual exercise, while bodies such as the City of London Police, the Metropolitan Police, City of London Corporation, Canary Wharf Management and the London Resilience Team were directly involved in scenario design.
Following feedback from last year's exercise, today's scenario has been designed to offer greater complexity, bringing together media and international dimensions, civil contingencies and business continuance issues.
The disaster scenario was kept under wraps until the exercise itself, but participants were given enough information in advance to enable them to ensure that the right people are involved on the day.