Industry-Wide Business Continuity Test

Date

Saturday, October 24, 2020

Time

9:00am - 1:00pm EST

Overview

The industry-wide business continuity test is a critical exercise that highlights our industry’s ability to operate through a significant emergency using backup sites, recovery facilities and backup communications capabilities across the industry. SIFMA urges all firms to participate in this important event.

The 2020 Industry Test was held on Saturday, October 24.

Schedule & Milestones

  • July 2020 – All Exchanges, Markets and Utilities identified, manner of participation and contact information provided
  • August 2020 – Registration opens for participants
  • September/October – Pre-Test period (dates to be posted as soon as available per each Exchange, Market or Utility)
    • Common pretest dates: 9/26/2020 (Primary) & 10/3/2020 (Secondary)
  • August 12, 2020, 4:00pm – 5:00pm EST – Exchange, Utility & Service Provider Project Team Call
  • September 4, 2020 – Industry Test Entities Provide Scripts to Registered Test Participants
  • September 9, 2020, 4:00pm – 5:00pm EST – First Industry Test Participants and Providers Coordination Call
  • September 22, 2020, 4:00pm – 5:00pm EST – Second Industry Test Participants and Providers Coordination Call
  • October 14, 2020, 4:00pm – 5:00pm EST – Final Industry Test Participants and Providers Coordination Call
  • October 16, 2020 – Final Instructions Distributed to All Participants
  • October 24, 2020, 9:00am – 1:00pm EST – SIFMA Industry Test

Components

Industry-wide tests follow a consistent format whereby firms submit test orders and transactions from their backup sites to markets and utilities.

The test is supported by all major exchanges, markets and industry utilities.  The exercise involves test transactions for commercial paper, equities, options, futures, fixed income, settlement, payments, Treasury auctions and market data. On the same day, the Futures Industry Association (FIA) leads the futures test component and Financial Information Forum (FIF) coordinates market data vendors and service bureaus.

SIFMA compiles and discloses aggregate test results (but not individual performance).

Reg SCI and the SIFMA Industry Test

Regulation SCI requires that each SCI entity designate members and participants to take part in an annual business continuity and disaster recovery plan test, and SIFMA facilitates a coordinated testing program for the industry as part of our business continuity planning and disaster recovery work. Reg SCI entities completed their testing requirements in parallel with the SIFMA industry test.

The presentation below outlines the difference between the two test programs and implications on how market participants approach this year’s testing programs.

SIFMA and the Reg SCI entities are working to develop a shared test playbook for the 2020 Reg SCI test as they have in prior years. The playbook outlines a common approach to the test across test entities, including a schedule for test day, test scope, shared principles for test outlines, and test symbols. The document is available below:

2019 Test Results

The 2019 SIFMA Industry Test and Reg SCI testing were successfully completed on October 26, 2019. Participants in the SIFMA test included approximately 110 securities firms and 80 market organizations. During the test approximately 1,100 communications connections were establish between securities firms and banks and the exchanges, markets and utilities. Test transactions on these connections were successful 98% of the time. These results were generally comparable to prior tests. These results underscore the ability of the securities industry to operate through adverse conditions.