Etrali, the leading provider of unified communications solutions for the trading community, today announced the launch of its Network Continuity Services (NCS), a range of offerings designed to help financial institutions protect against costly and damaging downtime caused by business interruptions.
Under the Basel II Capital Accord the amount of regulatory capital required by banks to cover their customer and operational risk exposures will be determined on a rating system. Those institutions that cannot demonstrate adequate risk mitigation through business continuity planning face the possibility of having their rating downgraded, forcing them to hold a higher percentage of regulatory capital and limiting their investment opportunities.
Etrali is already supplying a number of its major bank customers, including BNP Paribas, Goldman Sachs, Société Générale and CDC Ixis with NCS tailored to their requirements.
Lila Benhammou, Etrali's connectivity product manager, said, "Interrupted business invariably means lost business. In fact, the cost of downtime has been estimated by financial analysts at between €6m and €25m per hour with additional uninsurable capital losses associated with customer dissatisfaction and possible desertion. And with the advent of a new regulatory environment, business continuity planning is becoming ever more vital."
Etrali supplies the technology and expertise that helps banks mitigate the risk of business interruptions, ranging from catastrophic natural disasters or acts of terrorism, to power outages, technical glitches and human errors.
With Basel II due to come into effect at the end of 2006, banks will have even more reason to demonstrate their ability to assess and manage operational risk.
"Banks have the opportunity to enhance their risk rating and lower their capital requirement under Basel II if they can demonstrate that they have lowered their risk exposure. The banks that can free-up capital to reinvest elsewhere in their business will be the winners," Benhammou said.
Etrali works with each client to plan, test and audit the system infrastructure for weaknesses and also to rehearse for potential business interruption events. With a suite of services such as local loop backup and redistribution of voice trading traffic to sites around the world, Etrali can cater to the unique needs of its customers.
Protecting against loss of access
Local Voice Continuity protects against local loop fail over by providing an alternative loop to which all voice traffic can be switched.
Protecting against loss of building
In-City Voice Continuity provides the re-routing of all private circuits from a customer site to the disaster recovery site in the same city. This protects against loss of trading floor infrastructure due to fire or flood, for example.
Etr@net Distributed Voice Continuity is a flexible solution for disaster recovery of private circuits allowing the re-routing of private circuits from a damaged site to a list of recovery sites. This could include several sites in multiple locations, with traffic distributed according to a pre-defined strategy, and mitigates the risk of permanent loss of the damaged site.
Dedicated Trading Network Continuity protects against multiple threats to data, systems and network by connecting numerous sites in financial centres around the world.