UK Financial Sector Tests its Crisis Preparations
The UK financial sector took part this week in the largest ever market-wide test of its preparedness to respond to a major crisis such as a terrorist attack, natural disaster or widespread infrastructure damage. The desk-based exercise was organised by the financial stability teams at the Tripartite Authorities (HM Treasury, the Bank of England and the Financial Services Authority) who would have responsibility for overseeing and co-ordinating the markets response to such an incident. More than 1,000 people, from the Tripartite Authorities and some 80 organisations across the UK took part, many holding their own internal business continuity exercises to run alongside the main event. The exercise was also attended by representatives from overseas regulators. The test, which was designed to be as realistic as possible, involved a scenario of widespread disruption in London and other financial centres, and included simulated news broadcasts, interviews and market and currency movements. A report showing the findings will be released next year.