The FCA is working closely with the financial services sector to ensure it is responding effectively to the Covid-19 (coronavirus) outbreak. This is in conjunction with the Bank of England and HM Treasury.
We expect all firms to have contingency plans in place to deal with major events. Alongside the Bank we are actively reviewing the contingency plans of a wide range of firms. This includes assessments of operational risks, the ability of firms to continue to operate effectively and the steps firms are taking to serve and support their customers.
We expect firms to take all reasonable steps to meet their regulatory obligations. For example, we would expect firms to be able to enter orders and transactions promptly into the relevant systems, use recorded lines when trading and give staff access to the compliance support they need. If firms are able to meet these standards and undertake these activities from backup sites or with staff working from home, we have no objection to this.
We are discussing with firms and trade associations any particular issues they may have and are working with them to resolve these. We want to understand the pressures they are facing and will be continuing our active dialogue with firms, institutions and industry bodies in the coming days and weeks. We will keep our guidance under review as necessary.
If firms have any questions they should contact us in the usual way.