Operational Resilience and Expectations of Regulated Entities
For some time, the Authority has been working on its operational readiness in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic. Following the Chief Minister’s announcement of emergency measures on 16 March 2020, we are moving to the next stage of our business continuity plan. Effective Wednesday 18 March the majority of our staff will be working from home on a rotating basis. This approach will allow us to further test our connectivity and working from home processes. For our stakeholders, this move should be seamless as staff will continue to be accessible by traditional means - phones and emails.
One change however will be our protocols on face to face meetings, as we will be switching to meetings via teleconference and/or video-conference. These changes may result in some initial disruption but are considered necessary in the current circumstances.
Further, we would also ask our regulated entities to send correspondence to the Authority in a secure electronic form as opposed to, or in addition to, hard copies delivered to the Authority’s offices. We believe this is a sensible readiness step to take. Where regulated entities do not have a secure e-mail connection with the Authority we would remind regulated entities that correspondence should be appropriately encrypted and that passwords are then separately communicated.
The FSA remains open for business with these modified work practices. We will be reviewing our operating approach on a daily basis and will update our website to reflect any adjustments, in accordance with further developments.
In relation to regulated entities, all such firms are required to have robust business continuity plans which are proportionate to the nature and scale of their operations. We are aware that many firms have been reviewing and, in some cases activating, elements of their business continuity plans. The Authority is currently engaging with various firms across the different regulated sectors and may widen this engagement, as necessary. Firms are reminded that they should proactively make the Authority aware of any material issues in respect of their ability to operate in compliance with their business continuity arrangements.