The Monetary Board recently approved the issuance of general guidelines on the establishment of back-up operations centers and data recovery sites for banks and non-bank financial institutions (NBFIs) under BSP supervision. Under the guidelines, it shall be the responsibility of the board of directors of the concerned institution to ensure that the institution's overall business continuity plans including the alternate crisis sites and date recovery sites are adequate, fully-capable and well-prepared to meet the contingencies arising from natural and man-made disasters in order to minimize potential business disruptions.
The guidelines prescribe minimum features such as multiple site access, adequately secured and equipped premises and stand-by power supply in selecting back-up operations centers and data recovery sites.
To provide operational flexibility, the previously required 20-km., minimum distance between the institution's primary operations center and back-up center has been set aside in the new guidelines. The guidelines also allow banks and non-banks to engage the services of third party service providers for back-up and data recovery operations provided that the service agreement with the designated service provider complies with existing regulations on outsourcing of banking activities.
Information on the back-up operations centers and data recovery sites arrangements of banks/NBFIs are required to be submitted to the BSP for notation by the Monetary Board and made available to BSP examiners during regular examination for purposes of ascertaining that such arrangements are updated and effective.