US authorities kill proposed Wall St disaster plan

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US authorities kill proposed Wall St disaster plan

US government regulators are to abandon a proposal requiring Wall Street firms to move their disaster recovery sites 200 to 300 miles away from primary data centres.

New York senator Charles Schumer announced the shift in policy, after he received assurances from the heads of the US Federal Reserve System, the US Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) and the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) that proposed regulations would not drive jobs out of the city.

In a letter to Schumer, the agencies said they would not mandate minimum distance requirements between primary and back-up data centres, minimum staffing requirements or that firms move out of city centre operations.

Instead they will "work on a case-by-case basis with those firms that the agencies deem critical to the US financial markets as they develop contingency plans to respond to new post-September 11 risk issues."

John Sharp, chief executive officer of the UK's Business Continuity Institute, was not surprised by the move. "The financial implications of what was being proposed were huge," he said.

The new US proposals will be similar to those operated by UK regulators such as the Financial Services Authority (FSA), said sharp who advises the FSA and Cabinet Office.

"Our regulator does not insist on a prescriptive approach to business continuity but asks detailed questions of organisations about their appetite for risk and their ability to manage it."

The Business Continuity Institute good practice guidelines:
www.thebci.org/frametrial.html

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