WASHINGTON (12/14/07)—The Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (FFIEC) this week issued guidance for all financial institutions to use to minimize the effects of a pandemic disaster. This guidance is intended to supplement the “Letter to Credit Union 06-CU-06 - Influenza Pandemic Preparedness” issued by the National Credit Union Administration in March 2006, as well the “Interagency Advisory on Influenza Pandemic Preparedness” issued on March 15, 2006 by the federal banking and thrift regulators. The new FFIEC document identifies actions that a financial institution should take to build its business continuity Plan (BCP). Such a plan should include planning for a pandemic event and provide for a preventive program, as well as:
* A documented strategy scaled to the stages of a pandemic outbreak; * A comprehensive framework to ensure the continuance of critical operations, * A testing program; and * An oversight program to ensure that the plan is reviewed and updated.
The FFIEC advised that the pandemic segment of a BCP must be sufficiently flexible to address a wide range of possible effects that could result from a pandemic, and also be reflective of the institution’s size, complexity, and business activities. The FFIEC is comprised of representatives from the NCUA, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, and the Office of Thrift Supervision. Use the resource link below to read the interagency guidance.