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Business Continuity Planning: Summary
Last Reviewed: September, 2014

Credit Union management should develop a comprehensive business continuity plan (BCP) as part of the business continuity planning process. The BCP should be based on the size and complexity of the credit union and should be consistent with the credit union’s overall business strategy. The goal of the BCP should be to minimize financial losses to the credit union, serve members with minimal disruptions, and mitigate the negative effects of disruptions on business operations.

Changes in business processes and technology increased terrorism concerns, recent catastrophic natural disasters, and the threat of a pandemic have focused even greater attention on the need for effective business continuity planning. Consequently, these issues should be given greater consideration in the business continuity planning process. Credit union management should consider the potential for area-wide disasters that could affect an entire region and result in significant losses to the credit union. The business continuity planning process should address interdependencies, both market-based and geographic, among financial system participants and infrastructure service providers. In most cases, recovery time objectives (RTOs) are now much shorter than they were a few years ago, and for some institutions, RTOs are based on hours and even minutes. Ultimately, all credit unions should anticipate and plan for the unexpected and ensure that their business continuity planning process appropriately addresses the lessons they have learned from past disasters1.

1. FFIEC IT Examination Handbook, Business Continuity Planning, March 2008