BUSINESS CONTINUITY PLANNING
Business continuity remains a priority for firms and their associated persons. It is important that firms maintain adequate business continuity and contingency plans and ensure that employees are aware of and understand these plans.
Business Continuity Planning
Due to the recent outbreak of coronavirus disease (COVID-19), FINRA reminds member firms to consider pandemic-related business continuity planning, including whether their business continuity plans (BCPs) are sufficiently flexible to address a wide range of possible effects in the event of a pandemic in the United States. Each member firm is also encouraged to review its BCP to consider pandemic preparedness and to review its emergency contacts to ensure that FINRA has a reliable means of contacting the firm. This Notice also provides pandemic-related guidance and regulatory relief to member firms from some requirements. As coronavirus-related risks decrease, member firms should expect to return to meeting any regulatory obligations for which relief has been provided.
• FINRA Regulatory Notice 20-08 (March 9, 2020): Pandemic-Related Business Continuity Planning, Guidance and Regulatory Relief
BC/DR Testing Under Regulation SCI
As required by SEC Regulation Systems Compliance and Integrity (Regulation SCI), FINRA in 2015 adopted Rule 4380 requiring member firm participation in business continuity and disaster recovery (BC/DR) testing. The rule authorizes FINRA to designate firms that must participate in FINRA’s annual BC/DR test based on established standards, which FINRA first published in Regulatory Notice 15-43 and updated in Regulatory Notice 18-09. This Notice consolidates FINRA’s designation criteria, as previously announced in Notices 15-43 and 18-09, without change.
• FINRA Regulatory Notice 19-15 (April 19, 2019): FINRA Publishes Consolidated Criteria to Designate Firms for Mandatory Participation in FINRA’s Business Continuity/Disaster Recovery Testing
• FINRA Regulatory Notice 18-09 (March 7, 2018): FINRA Updates Designation Criteria to Require Firms Reporting U.S. Treasury Securities to TRACE to Participate in FINRA’s Business Continuity/Disaster Recovery Testing