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Canadian Financial Sector Resiliency Group launched to help improve financial sector resilience

The Bank of Canada has announced the launch of a public-private partnership to strengthen the resilience of Canada’s financial sector. The Canadian Financial Sector Resiliency Group (CFRG) will be responsible for coordinating a sector-wide response to systemic-level operational incidents. CFRG will also support ongoing resiliency initiatives, such as regular crisis simulation and benchmarking exercises.

The CFRG will start its work in August 2019.

Led by the Bank of Canada, this initiative brings together the following organizations:

  • Department of Finance Canada;
  • Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (OSFI);
  • Canada’s systemically important banks;
  • Designated Canadian financial market infrastructures (FMIs), which include the payment, clearing and settlement systems.

While the increased interconnectedness of the financial sector brings many benefits, it also means that an incident in one institution may spread to others and be amplified. Should an incident, such as a major cyber attack, threaten the operations of the financial sector’s critical infrastructure, the CFRG will coordinate the national response. Each member organization’s highest officials will be involved in crisis coordination.

“We need strong controls within each institution. And we need partnerships between public agencies and the private sector to bridge any gaps in coordination, especially when it comes to cyber risks,” said Bank of Canada Governor Stephen S. Poloz. “The CFRG brings together many of our trusted partners to work with us making our financial system safe and resilient.”

“Operational risks — including cyber attacks — are real, and they pose a threat to the payments system and in fact the entire financial system,” said Brian Porter, Chief Executive Officer of Scotiabank. “We look forward to working with the Bank of Canada and organizations across the sector to build a more resilient, more robust financial system that better protects our customers against new threats.”

The CFRG replaces the Joint Operational Resilience Management Program (JORM), which played a similar role but had a different membership base and did not have the mandate to look at resiliency coordination for cyber events.

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