Bank of England delays cyber stress test as it focuses on Brexit

 
James Warrington
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The stress test is part of new financial regulation to ensure banks can withstand cyber attacks (Source: Getty)

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


The BoE’s financial policy committee (FPC) said it will put off a scheme to test how banks react to cyber attacks, which was due to launch early next year.

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

The stress test is part of new financial regulation to ensure banks can withstand cyber attacks and have appropriate responses in place.

It is likely the testing will now not be introduced until after the UK leaves the EU in March.


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

In a letter to chancellor Philip Hammond, the FPC said other bodies, such as the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), play the primary role in ensuring the industry remains competitive.

But it said it would consider how its policy actions might affect competition “where practicable”.

The BoE is currently monitoring the potential impact of Brexit on the UK’s financial system. In this year’s stress test it concluded the UK banking system is strong enough to withstand a ‘disorderly’ Brexit.



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