A 2-day intensive course on Business Continuity and Scenario Planning focused on the banking/ financial institution environment with a view to providing Banking Professionals with a firm foundation of the standards of best practice in the critical area Business Continuity Planning.

The Basel Accords have raised the profile of Operational Risk. There are a range of challenges within the Accords where financial service firms need to consider a wide range of complex issues including events that have not happened yet. One of the most crucial objectives of management is to learn how to deal with the new requirements with regard to Business Continuity Planning.

Business Continuity Planning is the process through which an organization ensures the maintenance or recovery of operations, including services to customers, when faced with disruptive events such as natural disasters, technological failures, human error or terrorism.


Financial authorities and financial industry participants have a shared interest in promoting the toughness of the financial system to major operational disruptions. This interest is the result of many factors, including:

  • The vital role that financial intermediation plays in facilitating and promoting national and global economic activity by providing the means for making and receiving payments, for borrowing and lending, for effecting transactions, for insuring risks, and for raising capital and promoting investment.
  • The increasing complexity and operational risk across financial systems.
  • The concentration of clearing and settlement processes in most financial systems.
  • Deepening interdependencies among financial industry participants within and across jurisdictions.
  • The recurring pattern of natural disasters or extreme weather conditions.
  • The possibility of terrorist or other malicious attacks targeted, directly or indirectly, at the infrastructure of the financial system.
  • A strong interest in maintaining public confidence in financial systems.

The course includes 3 detailed business continuity case studies and an interactive section on developing effective scenarios.

Business continuity is an ongoing priority for financial industry participants.

  • Acts of terrorism over the past decade in New York, London, Istanbul, Madrid and elsewhere,
  • Outbreaks of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and the Avian Flu, and
  • Various widespread natural disasters such as the 2011 Japanese Earthquake, Tsunami & Nuclear Power Plant Failure, the 2004 Asian Tsunami and Hurricane Katrina.

They have served to heighten that priority by underlining the substantial risk of major operational disruptions to the financial system.

The objectives of this course is to provide professionals in the banking and financial sector with a sound foundation in the area of Business.

Participants will be able to identify potential risks and their impact as well as to prepare and implement action plans dealing with the business continuity recovery process in their own institutions as well. A key tool in this process is scenario planning.

Who Should Attend

This course intended for Executive Management, Senior Personnel, Compliance Staff, Risk Management, and Operational Staff whom are responsible to ensure that business continues in their respective business unit/division/branch/industry infrastructure in the event of any emergency, unexpected or extensive disruptive circumstances.


This is a highly interactive course comprised of PowerPoint presentations, case studies, multidirectional discussions and exercises.

Course Outline:

Day One     Day Two

  • What is Business Continuity? – How Business Continuity evolved; What are the differences with regular risk management.
  • Why is Business Continuity Critical? – We examine potential “headaches” such as telecommunications failures and the potential for disruptions caused by environmental failures.
  • Basic Definitions – we explore some basic definitions such as Business Continuity Management, Business Impact Analysis, Critical Market Participants, Major Operational Disruption, Operational Risk, Recovery Time and Resilience among others.
  • Risks & Threats – Understanding risk, what are the real treats and interdependencies are only a few of the many issues coved in this session.
  • The Basel Principles for Business Continuity – We explore the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision’s set of high-level principles intended to support international standard setting organizations and national financial authorities in their efforts to improve the resilience of financial systems to major operational disruptions.
  • Effective Business Continuity Management – We explore the details of a range of activities aimed at identifying, controlling, and mitigating risks. Included in this section are issues such as;
    • Risk Management & BCP
    • Types of Contingency Related Plans
    • Interrelationship of Contingency Related Plans
    • Risk Monitoring, Business Impact Analyses
    • Recovery Strategies
    • Business Continuity Plans
    • Diversification of Back-Up Arrangements
    • Testing Program
    • Training and Awareness Programs
    • Communication and Crisis management Programs
    • Recovery Times
  • What are the Costs? – A possible barrier to the adoption of comprehensive Business Continuity is that it is seen as a sunk cost and as being of no immediate benefit to the bottom line.
    • What are the Costs?
    • Balancing costs against recovery times
    • Recovery Point & Recovery Time
    • Recovery Cost Balancing
    • Cost of Alternative Sites
  • “Crossing Bank Borders” – IT Contingencies – In this section we look at the key IT threats, the nature of and the relationship between the “internal” and “external” IT environments.
    • IT Service Continuity Management
    • IT Threats
    • IT Service Contingency Strategy
    • Maintaining an IT Service Continuity Strategy
    • Business Criticality & Risk Assessments
    • The Risk Assessment Process
    • The IT Contingency Planning Process
    • Developing an IT Service Contingency Strategy including mapping process flows
    • Mapping the risks
    • Rehearsals
    • Synchronous vs. asynchronous trade-off and architectures
    • Impact of Disaster – The Threat Radius
  • Case Study – “How far is far enough?” – Business Continuity and 9/11.

  • The Human Aspect – building resiliency into your human capital. We examine the nature of human capital, human capital risks in crisis situations, and critical factors in the human chain.
    • Human Capital Risks
      • Ability to Attend Work
      • Ability to Deliver Critical Internal Services
      • Ability to Maintain Business Operations
    • Critical Factors in the Human Chain.
  • Business Continuity Pitfalls – Issues that must be avoided in the BCP process to ensure success.
    • The 10 commandments of business continuity management
  • Key Issues in Business Continuity Planning in an IT Environment – How do you determine the quality and effectiveness of the organization’s business continuity planning process, and whether the continuity testing program is sufficient to demonstrate the financial institution’s ability to meet its continuity objectives? We review key issues such as;
    • Business Impact Analysis & Risk Assessment
    • Risk Management
    • Hardware, Back-up & Recovery Issues
    • Security
    • Outsourced Activities
    • Risk Monitoring & Testing
    • Execution, Evaluation, & Re-testing
  • Case Studies – Major events and their affect on financial institutions
    • Natural Disaster – Hurricane Katrina
    • Terrorism – London July 7th
    • Terrorism – 9/11 & Disruptions to the Payment System

    In each case study we look at the event, the impact to the financial system, specific problems and lessons learned.

  • 2011 Japanese Earthquake, Tsunami & Nuclear Power Plant Failure
    • What the events in Japan teach us about Business Continuity & Disaster Recovery
    • Successes
    • Failures
  • A Scenario Planning Primer – what it is, developing effective scenarios and linking scenarios to analysis.
    • Using Scenarios for Business Continuity Planning
  • Scenario planning – the process – How to do it. A hands on exercise.

Meet Your Instructor

Richard Barr
Principal Associate of Citadel Advantage

Richard Barr , holds a B.S. in International Business Administration from San Jose State University in California. His professional experience spans over 23 years, 5 of which were spent with Wells Fargo Bank. Another 5 were spent honing his global banking skills, when Richard was intimately involved with International Trade Finance, Real Time Gross Settlement and Cross Border Banking. The past 14 years have been in the private and high-tech sectors providing high-level consulting services, business analysis, project management and training to a wide range of banking clientele across the globe.

Richard has also filled the role of advisor to central banks on payment systems and technical payments issues. Furthermore, key staff members from the Bank of England, South African Reserve Bank, Central Bank of Ireland, Bank Indonesia, European Central Bank and Bank of Portugal have attended training sessions presented by Richard.

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