Industry-Wide Business Continuity Test

Date

Saturday, October 24, 2020

Time

9:00am - 1:00pm EST

Overview

This 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 will be held on Saturday, October 24.

Materials for the 2020 test are currently being developed and will be posted in early July.  In the interim, please find the materials from the 2019 test, which we expect to be largely similar in structure.

Reg SCI and the SIFMA Industry Test

Reg SCI entities will carry out their testing requirements on October 26, in parallel with the SIFMA industry test. The presentation below outlines the difference between the two test programs and implications how market participants approach this year’s testing programs.

Overview of SIFMA Industry Test vs. Reg SCI (July 5, 2016 Version)

SIFMA and the Reg SCI entities are working to develop a shared test playbook for the 2019 Reg SCI test as they have in prior years. This playbook will be released later in the summer of 2019. In the interim, please find as below as a reference the materials from 2018.

SIFMA, working together with the Reg SCI entities and its members, has developed a playbook for Reg SCI testing in 2017. 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:

Reg SCI Playbook (as of October 22, 2019)

SIFMA Request to SEC for No Action Relief from Rule 1004 of Regulation SCI, Feb. 25, 2019 and SEC No Action Letter Responding to SIFMA Regarding the Annual Test Date for Reg SCI (pdf), Feb. 26, 2019

Industry Test Registration

Please see below for detailed information on the test components that will be used for execution.

Registration will open in July 2020.

The registration site now includes new features to download all registrations you have made across all test entities, as well as to download all registration made by users across your firm, to aid in your internal; coordination. The registration platform includes the option to designate individuals as a pre-test contact who will receive information in advance of the test, as well as designating a test day contact.

Please see the 2019 overview presentation for additional details.

Schedule & Milestones

The schedule for the 2020 industry test process will be released in Summer 2020, illustrative dates from the 2019 program are below.

  • July 11, 2019 – All Exchanges, Markets and Utilities identified, manner of participation and contact information provided
  • Late July, 2019 – Registration opens for participants
  • August/September – Pre-Test period (dates to be posted as soon as available per each Exchange, Market or Utility)
    • Common pretest dates: 9/28/2019 & 10/5/2019
  • August 8, 2019, 3:00pm – 4:00pm EST – Exchange, Utility & Service Provider Project Team Call
  • September 4, 2019 – Industry Test Entities Provide Scripts to Registered Test Participants
  • September 11, 2019, 4:00pm – 5:00pm EST – First Industry Test Participants and Providers Coordination Call
  • September 26, 2019, 4:00pm – 5:00pm EST – Second Industry Test Participants and Providers Coordination Call
  • October 16, 2019, 4:00pm – 5:00pm EST – Final Industry Test Participants and Providers Coordination Call
  • October 18, 2019 – Final Instructions Distributed to All Participants
  • October 26, 2019, 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.

The Summary of Components for 2019 has been released. Please check back periodically as we continue to receive additional updates from test entities.

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

Test Components

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

2019 Summary of Components (as of 10/17) (xlsx)

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).  For prior year’s test results, please view our Archives.

Overview of 2018 Test Results

The 2018 test was held on Saturday, October 13, 2017 from 9:00am – 1:00pm EST.

The 2018 test followed the format of prior industry-wide tests where firms submit test orders and transactions from their backup sites to the markets and industry utilities. The test involved components for Equities, Options, Fixed Income, Clearing and Settlement Utilities, Market Data, Payment Systems, Treasury Auctions, Service Bureaus and FX. The exercise was supported by all major exchanges, markets and industry utilities. Participation in the test was voluntary and results for specific firms, exchanges, markets and utilities are retained in strict confidence by SIFMA.

Participants in the SIFMA test included 110 securities firms and 71 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.