Business continuity

What is „business continuity"?

"Business continuity management" is a whole-of-business approach that includes policies, standards, and procedures for ensuring that specified operations can be maintained or recovered in a timely fashion in the event of a disruption.

"Business continuity planning" (BCP) is an integrated framework of measures intended to enable an institution to continue its critical operations in case of incidents.

During the last years, some incidents at an international level have heightened the importance of the operational reliability of market infrastructures such as payment and securities settlement systems for the stability of the financial markets. Therefore the development of business continuity processes is prerequisite for the smooth functioning of payment and settlement systems and the containment of the operational and systemic risks.

Co-operating in sharing information between the national central banks and the European Central Bank related to business continuity constitute a necessary measures to prepare market participants adequately to react in crisis situations.

Business continuity of payment and securities settlement systems has become the subject of many international standards and recommendations. Eurosystem established a set of principles for business continuity in June 2006, when the ECB published a document Business continuity oversight expectations (BCOE) for systemically important payment systems (SIPS). The purpose of BCOE is to provide guidance to operators of SIPS in order to achieve sufficiency robust and consistent levels of resilience across these systems by improving their recovery and resumption capabilities.

These principles constitute a further specification of Core Principles VII, according to that "the system should ensure a high degree of security and operational reliability and should have contingency arrangements for the timely completion of daily processing".

BCOE are relevant for all Eurosystem SIPS, including retail payment systems (SIRPS - Systematically Important Retail Payment Systems) but also for critical participants and third party providers to these systems.

Business Continuity and crisis management in Slovakia

The National Bank of Slovakia, as member of the Eurosystem, has recognized the importance of adequately addressing the issue related to business continuity, being encouraged by the ESCB and taking into account that one of the responsibilities of central banks is to ensure the smooth functioning of payment systems. In compliance with the Act No. 566/1992 Coll. On the National Bank of Slovakia, Article 2, the National Bank of Slovakia shall: c) support the smooth functioning of payment systems and settlement systems, control, coordinate and ensure the circulation of money, payment system and settlement between banks within the scope established by this Act and a separate Act, and ensure the efficient and economic performance of these operations.

National bank of Slovakia has established Business continuity plan on resumption of priority activities of National bank of Slovakia, with the aim at the recovery and resumption of critical functions. One part of Business continuity plan on resumption of priority activities of National bank of Slovakia is dedicated to payment system.



Business Continuity Oversight Expectations for Systemically Important Payment Systems (SIPS)

Core Principles for Systemically Important Payment Systems


Links of interest European System of Central Banks: