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Treasury

Business continuity remains banks’ priority in the next phase of Covid

The payment industry’s ability to withstand the disruption caused by the coronavirus suggests that lessons learned from previous outbreaks have served the industry well.

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At Sibos earlier in October, a panel was held on how the industry coped with workforce disruption after the coronavirus outbreak.

Speaking at the event, Greg Keeley, executive vice-president at TD Bank Group, recalled: “Our business continuity plan was thrown out the window as we recognised the impacts of protecting our colleagues and the need to go virtual.

“However, practising our business-continuity and disaster-recovery plans allowed us to react to a situation no one could have foreseen.”

In a recurring theme since the start of the crisis, Keeley noted that while the bank had business continuity plans in place, these had to change because they were predicated on staff working from a single facility and having a back-up facility in the event of an incident.

Past experience

It is clear that banks with a substantial Asian footprint have benefited from prior experience of dealing with such crises.

Stephen Sheridan, Standard Chartered’s regional chief operating officer, Europe and Americas, tells Euromoney that his bank’s planning was informed by its exposure to previous disease outbreaks, such as Sars and Ebola, in its core markets.

“We benefited from early experience of the pandemic in China and were able to take learnings such as the increased need for colleagues to be able to work from home and roll out capabilities across other markets in anticipation of the global spread of the virus,” he says.

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