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To: Chief Executive Officers and Directors of National Banks, Department and Division Heads, Examining Personnel, and Other Interested Parties

Description: Business continuity sound practices developed by the FRB, SEC, and OCC to ensure the continued functioning of critical financial services

Today, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) and the Securities and Exchange Commission, issued the attached Interagency Paper on Sound Practices to Strengthen the Resilience of the U.S. Financial System. The Paper, which applies to key financial firms and market utilities considered critical to ensure the continued functioning of settlement and clearance functions supporting critical financial markets, identifies the following four steps necessary to protect the U.S. financial system from the systemic effects of a wide-scale disruption:

  1. Identify clearing and settlement activities in support of critical financial markets.
  2. Determine appropriate recovery and resumption objectives for clearing and settlement activities in support of critical markets.
  3. Maintain sufficient geographically dispersed resources to meet recovery and resumption objectives.
  4. Routinely use or test recovery and resumption arrangements.

The sound practices addressed in the Paper are supported by certain expectations regarding time to recovery, geographic diversity, and implementation timetables for those firms covered by its terms. These expectations will be discussed with the firms involved as part of each agency's ongoing supervisory process.

For more information, call the OCC's Bank Technology Division at (202) 649-6340.

Ralph E. Sharpe
Deputy Comptroller for Technology

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