The recent destructive fires in Knysna and the surrounding areas highlight the need for a Disaster Recovery Plan. It is also important to consider how quickly you could recover and resume business operations if a significant disruption occurred to your business.
The law requires financial service providers (FSPs) to put procedures and controls in place that include at least a Disaster Recovery Plan and back-up procedures. This should also take into account the legislation pertaining to record keeping.
Section 3(2) of the General Code of Conduct requires that you have procedures and processes in place to:
- Record verbal and written communications with clients.
- Store and retrieve records and other material documentation.
- Keep client records and documentation safe from destruction.
- Keep records for five years after a product or an advisor’s service is terminated.
- Ensure records are available for inspection within seven days of the registrar’s request.
- Keep records in an appropriate format, so they are accessible and readily reducible to written or printed form.
- Have electronic back-ups of electronic records.
In light of this, consider the following when drawing up or reviewing your Disaster Recovery Plan:
- Is your data being backed up regularly?
- Can your data recovery take place quickly and easily?
- Do you sufficiently safeguard information, books, records and your property?
- Can you continue providing prompt service to clients if disaster strikes?
- Does your plan set out how operations will resume quickly, given the scope and severity of the business disruption?
- Do you have the financial and operational resources to execute the plan in the event of a disaster?
- Is there an alternate physical location from where staff can operate?
- Does your plan specify who will inform clients of the disaster that occurred?
- What alternate communication methods will you use to communicate to clients and staff?
- Are all your staff and other role players fully aware of their role in the plan?
- Are suppliers who are vital to your business delivery informed of and do they understand their role in your recovery plan?
By documenting an all-encompassing Disaster Recovery Plan, you not only comply with legislation, but you enjoy peace of mind knowing that your business and clients are protected should disaster strike.