Bangladeshi banks asked to frame business continuity plan

SIDDIQUE ISLAM | Thursday, 27 January 2022

The central bank has asked scheduled banks to formulate a business continuity plan (BCP) soon for uninterrupted operations in any situation, officials say.

The banks along with other financial service providers have also been instructed to prepare a list of key persons who are engaged in critical service management, including ICT infrastructure.

The Bangladesh Bank (BB) issued a notification to this end on Wednesday, asking managing directors (MDs) and chief executive officers (CEOs) of banks and other financial services for uninterrupted banking and payment services in response to Covid-19.

"We've asked banks and financial service providers to prepare an effective BCP as soon as possible to ensure uninterrupted banking and payment services to their clients in any type of situation."

A BB senior official said this to the FE while explaining the main objective of the notification.

Function of the key persons will have to be ensured at any circumstances for keeping uninterrupted banking and payment services, he added.

The banks have also been asked to ensure round-the-clock operations of alternative delivery channels (ADCs) at any situation for smooth transactions.

The ADCs include ATM (automated teller machine), POS (point of sale), e-payment gateway and mobile financial services (MFS) through which a customer can access financial services.

Industry insiders said some banks, mostly private commercial ones, and non-banking financial institutions (NBFIs) have already prepared their BCP with intent to keep their services uninterrupted.

Besides, 50-per cent employees of banks are now allowed to work from home in line with a BB directive.

On Monday, the regulator asked all the scheduled banks to operate with 50 per cent of their employees on a rota basis to help curb the third wave of coronavirus.

"We've already formed a high-powered committee, headed by a deputy managing director, to keep our services uninterrupted through implementing BCP," Dhaka Bank MD and CEO Emranul Huq told the FE.

Like other banks, South Bangla Agriculture and Commerce (SBAC) Bank Limited has already prepared a BCP to run its operations under any circumstances.

"Our divisional heads and branch managers are now implementing the BCP," SBAC Bank MD and CEO Mosleh Uddin Ahmed said in reply to a query.

On the other hand, Industrial and Infrastructure Development Finance Company (IIDFC) Limited, an NBFI, has already formulated its BCP on the same grounds.

Talking to the FE, IIDFC MD Golam Sarwar Bhuiyan said, "We've a BCP that is updated regularly considering the latest situation."

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