The Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (FFIEC) issued guidance today for use by financial institutions in identifying the continuity planning that should be in place to minimize the potential adverse effects of a pandemic. This guidance expands upon the contents of the Interagency Advisory on Influenza Pandemic Preparedness issued in March 2006.1
Pandemic planning presents unique challenges to financial institutions. Unlike most natural or technical disasters and malicious acts, the impact of a pandemic is much more difficult to determine because of the anticipated difference in scale and duration. As a result of these differences, no individual or organization is safe from the potential adverse effects of a pandemic event. Experts believe the most significant challenge may be the severe staffing shortages that will likely result from a pandemic outbreak.
The Federal Reserve and the other FFIEC agencies believe the potentially significant effects a pandemic could have on an institution justify establishing plans to address how each institution will manage a pandemic event. Accordingly, an institutionís business continuity plan should include:
Federal Reserve Banks are asked to distribute this letter to banking organizations supervised by the Federal Reserve, as well as to their own supervisory and examination staff. If you have any questions, please contact Brad Beytien, Manager, Operational and IT Risk Section, at (202) 452-3759 or Mary Frances Monroe, Manager, Supervisory Policy and Guidance at (202) 452-5231.