BoE to delay work on cyber stress test for banks

Written by Oliver Wade
10/12/2018

The Bank of England (BoE) has said it will delay work on a cyber stress test for banks as it focuses on Brexit preparations, according to minutes published today.

The bank’s financial policy committee (FPC) said it will postpone a scheme to test how banks respond to cyber attacks, which was previously due to launch in early 2019.

The minutes stated that the FPC “agreed to delay until the first half of 2019 the setting of impact tolerances, given the focus on preparations for Brexit”.

The stress test is part of a new financial regulation to ensure banks can remain resilient when faced with cyber attacks and have appropriate responses in place.

Following the decision, it is likely the testing will now not be introduced until after the UK leaves the EU on 29 March 2019.

The FPC is currently facing calls to ensure competition in the financial sector, particularly in the event of a no-deal Brexit.

Though the committee has said it will consider how its policy actions might affect competition “where practicable”, it stated in a letter to chancellor Philip Hammond that other bodies, such as the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), play the primary role in ensuring the industry remains competitive.

Furthermore, following this year’s stress tests, the BoE concluded that the UK banking system is strong enough to withstand a “disorderly” Brexit. However, it is currently monitoring the potential impact of Brexit on the UK’s financial system.

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