Group Seeks Biz Continuity Standards

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The Financial Services Technology Consortium (FSTC) reported it has established a single source for global business continuity regulations following completion of a six-month project to document varied, and what it called "often inconsistent," laws affecting U.S. financial institutions.

The effort gathered more than 100 continuity-related regulations, standards and guidelines affecting U.S. financial institutions from 16 different geographic jurisdictions worldwide. The project team analyzed content, identified commonalities and differences, and examined trends. "Core regulations were documented and the requirements for compliance were outlined using straight-forward, universal terminology," the organization said.

"The completion of the Business Continuity Compliance Project represents a milestone in helping the financial services industry meet regulatory requirements as they set their business continuity plans in place," said Zachary Tumin, Executive Director of FSTC. "This key first step will allow us to develop processes and models that facilitate the successful integration of regulation and best practices for financial institutions of all types."

According to the FSTC, many new regulations and guidelines have been enacted over the years in response to natural disasters, such as Hurricanes Hugo and Andrew; telecommunications failures; denial of service attacks, and terrorist attacks, such as 9/11, the Murrah Building bombing, the anthrax scares, and others. Technology developments have also triggered new regulations as new capabilities came on-line, the group said.

"Inconsistencies between regulations issued by different agencies have made compliance difficult and frustrating," said Charles M. Wallen, Managing Executive of FSTC's Business Continuity Standing Committee, and project director.

Seven FSTC member institutions and technology service providers participated in this FSTC-led project, which was managed by KPMG LLP.

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