The securities industry successfully completed Phase 2 of its business continuity planning (BCP) test on Oct. 15. The Securities Industry Association (SIA), the Bond Market Association, the Futures Industry Association and the Financial Information Forum (FIF) organized and conducted the test as part of the continued effort to assess the resilience of securities markets.
The results of the test were encouraging, with very few problems arising, according to the SIA. Nearly all issues were related to connectivity, generally regarding IP or firewall settings, and were resolved immediately, relates Howard Sprow, the SIA's assistant vice president and director of BCP. Nothing of a potentially catastrophic nature was reported, notes Sprow, who describes the Phase 2 testing as "very, very successful."
Securities firms and service bureaus accounting for more than 80 percent of standard markets order volume participated in the test. Using backup data centers and communications links, and alternate trading sites and operations facilities, the firms placed test orders, executions and settlement interactions. Participating businesses included New York-based and regional firms, and varied in size and type. Among the organizations that took part in the testing were the service bureaus of FIF members ADP, SunGard and Thomson.
Phase 1 of the BCP testing consisted of one-on-one connectivity tests between firms. "We plan to keep Phase 1 testing available - perhaps forever - as long as firms express interest," explains Sprow. Phase 2 is a much more extensive, simultaneous test across the entire industry, "perhaps the most extensive since Y2K," he adds.
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