Business Continuity and Scenario Planning: 2-day In-person Seminar

By: Stanley Epstein, Banking, Payments, Operational Risk & Back Office Specialist and Bank Trainer
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“Business Continuity and Scenario Planning”- This course is approved by NASBA (National Association of State Boards of Accountancy). Seminar attendees are eligible for 20 CPE credits upon completion of training.

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A 2-day intensive course on business continuity and scenario planning focused on the banking/ financial institution environment with a view to provide banking professionals with a firm foundation of the standards of best practices in the critical area of business continuity planning.

The Basel Accords have raised the profile of operational risk. There are a range of challenges within the accords where financial service firms need to consider a wide range of complex issues including events that have not happened yet. One of the most crucial objectives of management is to learn how to deal with the new requirements with regard to business continuity planning.

Business continuity planning is the process through which an organization ensures the maintenance or recovery of operations, including services to customers, when faced with disruptive events such as natural disasters, technological failures, human error or terrorism.

This course includes 3 detailed business continuity case studies and an interactive section on developing effective scenarios.

Business continuity is an ongoing priority for financial industry participants. Acts of terrorism over the past decade in New York, London, Istanbul, Madrid and elsewhere, outbreaks of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and the Avian Flu, and various widespread natural disasters such as the 2011 Japanese Earthquake, Tsunami & Nuclear Power Plant Failure, the 2004 Asian Tsunami and Hurricane Katrina, have served to heighten that priority by underlining the substantial risk of major operational disruptions to the financial system.

Learning Objectives:

Financial authorities and financial industry participants have a shared interest in promoting the toughness of the financial system to major operational disruptions. This interest is the result of many factors, including:

  • The vital role that financial intermediation plays in facilitating and promoting national and global economic activity by providing the means for making and receiving payments, for borrowing and lending, for effecting transactions, for insuring risks, and for raising capital and promoting investment
  • The increasing complexity and operational risk across financial systems.
  • The concentration of clearing and settlement processes in most financial systems.
  • Deepening interdependencies among financial industry participants within and across jurisdictions.
  • The recurring pattern of natural disasters or extreme weather conditions.
  • The possibility of terrorist or other malicious attacks targeted, directly or indirectly, at the infrastructure of the financial system.
  • A strong interest in maintaining public confidence in financial systems.

The objectives of this course is to provide professionals in the banking and financial sector with a sound foundation in the area of business.

Participants will be able to identify potential risks and their impact as well as to prepare and implement action plans dealing with the business continuity recovery process in their own institutions as well. A key tool in this process is scenario planning.

Who Should Attend?:

This course intended for executive management, senior personnel and operational staff who are responsible to ensure that business continues in their respective business unit/division/branch/industry infrastructure in the event of any emergency, unexpected or extensive disruptive circumstances. Some of the positions that will benefit include:

  • Operations Managers
  • Risk Managers
  • Internal Auditors
  • Business Continuity Practitioners


This is a highly interactive course comprised of PowerPoint presentations, case studies, multidirectional discussions and exercises.

We are registered with and adhere to the Statement on Standards for Continuing Professional Education programs of the National Registry of CPE Sponsors. Our registration number is 109066. Please check with the governing body of your license and state for specific CPE requirements. Grievances may be forwarded to the company at Ph: 650 620 3961; email: Grievances may also be forwarded to the National Registry of CPE Sponsors-NASBA, 150 Fourth Avenue North, Suite 700, Nashville, TN 37219-2417, 615-880-4200,, e-mail

Field of Study:

  • Administrative Practice: 1 CPE Credit
  • Auditing: 0.5 CPE Credit
  • Business Management and Organization: 10 CPE Credits
  • Communications: 2 CPE Credits
  • Computer Science: 2 CPE Credits
  • Personnel/HR: 0.5 CPE Credit
  • Social Environment of Business: 1 CPE Credit
  • Specialized Knowledge and Applications: 3 CPE Credits
  • Total CPE credits earned in this seminar: 20 CPE Credits
  • Program Delivery Method: Group-Live
    Program Level: Basic
    Advance Preparation/Program Prerequisites: None

    Course Outline

    Day One (8:30 AM – 4:30 PM)
    Registration Process: 8:30 AM – 9:00 AM
    Session Start Time: 9:00 AM

    • What is Business Continuity? – How Business Continuity evolved; What are the differences with regular risk management
    • Why is Business Continuity Critical? We examine potential “headaches” such as telecommunications failures and the potential for disruptions caused by environmental failures.
    • Basic Definitions – We explore some basic definitions such as Business Continuity Management, Business Impact Analysis, Critical Market Participants, Major Operational Disruption, Operational Risk, Recovery Time and Resilience among others.
    • Risks & Threats – Understanding risk, what are the real treats and interdependencies are only a few of the many issues coved in this session.
    • The Basel Principles for Business Continuity - We explore the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision’s set of high-level principles intended to support international standard setting organizations and national financial authorities in their efforts to improve the resilience of financial systems to major operational disruptions.
    • Effective Business Continuity Management - We explore the details of a range of activities aimed at identifying, controlling, and mitigating risks. Included in this section are issues such as;
      • Risk Management & BCP
      • Types of Contingency Related Plans
      • Key Differences Between BCP & DRP
      • Interrelationship of Contingency Related Plans
      • Risk Monitoring, Business Impact Analyses
      • Recovery Strategies
      • Business Continuity Plans
      • Diversification of Back-Up Arrangements
      • Testing Program
      • Training and Awareness Programs
      • Communication and Crisis management Programs
      • Recovery Times
    • What are the Costs? A possible barrier to the adoption of comprehensive Business Continuity is that it is seen as a sunk cost and as being of no immediate benefit to the bottom line
      • What are the Costs?
      • Balancing costs against recovery times
      • Recovery Point & Recovery Time
      • Recovery Cost Balancing
      • Cost of Alternative Sites
    • “Crossing Bank Borders” – IT Contingencies - In this section we look at the key IT threats, the nature of and the relationship between the “internal” and “external” IT environments.
      • IT Service Continuity Management
      • IT Threats
      • IT Service Contingency Strategy
      • Maintaining an IT Service Continuity Strategy
      • Business Criticality & Risk Assessments
      • The Risk Assessment Process
      • The IT Contingency Planning Process
      • Developing an IT Service Contingency Strategy including mapping process flows
      • Mapping the risks
      • Rehearsals
      • Synchronous vs. asynchronous trade-off and architectures
      • Impact of Disaster – The Threat Radius.
    • Case Study – “How far is far enough?” – Business Continuity and 9/11.
    Day Two (8:30 AM – 4:30 PM)
    • The Human Aspect - Building resiliency into your human capital. We examine the nature of human capital, human capital risks in crisis situations, and critical factors in the human chain.
      • Human Capital Risks,
        • Ability to Attend Work,
        • Ability to Deliver Critical Internal Services,
        • Ability to Maintain Business Operations.
      • Critical Factors in the Human Chain.
    • Business Continuity Pitfalls – Issues that must be avoided in the BCP process to ensure success.
      • The 10 commandments of business continuity management.
    • Key Issues in Business Continuity Planning in an IT Environment – How do you determine the quality and effectiveness of the organization’s business continuity planning process, and whether the continuity testing program is sufficient to demonstrate the financial institution’s ability to meet its continuity objectives? We review key issues such as;
      • Business Impact Analysis & Risk Assessment,
      • Risk Management,
      • Hardware, Back-up & Recovery Issues,
      • Security,
      • Outsourced Activities,
      • Risk Monitoring & Testing,
      • Execution, Evaluation, & Re-testing.
    • Case Studies – Major events and their effect on financial institutions
      • Natural Disaster – Hurricane Katrina
      • Terrorism – London July 7th
      • Terrorism – 9/11 & Disruptions to the Payment System.
    • In each case study we look at the event, the impact to the financial system, specific problems and lessons learned.
    • 2011 Japanese Earthquake, Tsunami & Nuclear Power Plant Failure
      • What the events in Japan teach us about Business Continuity & Disaster Recovery
      • Successes
      • Failures
    • A Scenario Planning Primer – What it is, developing effective scenarios and linking scenarios to analysis.
      • Using Scenarios for Business Continuity Planning.
    • Scenario planning – the process. How to do it. Hands on exercise

    Meet Your Instructor

    Stanley Epstein
    Banking, Payments, Operational Risk & Back Office Specialist and Bank Trainer

    Stanley Epstein has had extensive experience in banking and IT specifically the operations, payments, RTGS and the operational risk aspects of banking in the UK, Europe, the USA, Australia and Southern Africa. His bank-operations, payments systems, operational risk and clearing house experience is wide ranging and includes working closely with organisations such as UNCITRAL, Deutsche Bank and CHIPS in New York; APACS, British Bankers Association, CLS and Barclays Bank in London; Crédit Agricole in France; UBS and Credit Suisse in Switzerland, the central bank in the Netherlands; Alpha Bank in Greece; the central bank in Romania; the central bank in Kazakhstan; Bank Leumi and the central bank in Israel; the Standard Bank, Clearing Bankers Association; Bankserv and the central bank in South Africa and ANZ and Commonwealth Bank in Australia.

    Commencing his career at the Standard Bank of South Africa he gained a thorough grounding in all aspects of banking ranging from the bank’s branch system, back-office payments processing. He was also closely involved in the development of electronic banking at the Standard Bank. At a banking industry level he was involved in the creation and development of STRATE (Central Securities Depository in South Africa dealing with the dematerialization, clearing and settlement of all financial instruments in that country. He also served as Vice Chairman of the South African Clearing Bankers Association’s ERAG Group (an interbank payments/operations risk initiative established to identify & eliminate operational, legal and other risks in electronic payments) and later as Chairman of the Payments Association of South Africa Operational Risk Committee. On leaving South Africa he joined Fundtech Corporation, a leading provider of financial technology based in the US.

    Stanley has a Master’s degree in Economics which he earned with a dissertation on Financial Innovation and a Bachelor of Commerce degree in Accounting.

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