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Questionnaire Survey on Business Continuity Management

(November 2008)*1

  • *1This is an abridged English translation of the Japanese original released in February 2009.

April 27, 2009
Financial Systems and Bank Examination Department
Bank of Japan

Click on ron0904a.pdf to download the full text.


  • This paper summarizes the results of the fourth Questionnaire Survey on Business Continuity Management conducted during October and November 2008.
    The survey has been conducted every other year since 2002 on financial institutions that have current accounts at the Bank of Japan with a large volume of transactions in payment and settlement systems. The objectives of the survey are to grasp the current situation of respondents (84 financial institutions for this survey) in developing business continuity management plans, and also to contribute to the discussion on business continuity issues within the financial arena.
  • This survey was conducted as a self assessment by respondent financial institutions on their actual developments in line with the checklist given in "Toward Effective Business Continuity Management: A Check List and Instructive Practices" released in May 2008 (English translation in July 2008).
  • The Bank expects related financial parties to continue to develop their business continuity management while taking the survey results into consideration. The Financial Systems and Bank Examination Department of the Bank of Japan looks forward to further discussions with financial institutions on such occasions as on-site examinations and off-site monitoring with a view to improving the effectiveness of business continuity management.

Key Findings

  • Overall, the framework for developing business continuity management (BCM) has continued to progress steadily, and more respondents have become increasingly aware of the need to secure an effective framework.
  • Specifically, disaster scenarios have continued to assume that workplaces and/or computer centers become out-of-service due to natural disasters such as earthquakes and large-scale system failures. However, awareness of an outbreak of a pandemic such as a new type of influenza (pandemic influenza) has also been increasing.
  • In developing business continuity plans (BCP), "critical operations" that would be recovered on a priority basis in case of disaster were identified and most respondents have made efforts to ensure that "the most critical operations" would be recovered "within the same day." Specific details of "critical operations" differed by type of financial institution reflecting differences in their business operations.
  • As for necessary managerial resources for business continuity (staff, equipment, workplaces), progress has been made in securing workplaces such as back-up offices, but many respondents are still considering how to secure critical staff and system resources.
  • Decision-making procedures, communication arrangements and compilation of manuals have made progress.
  • Testing/training programs have been conducted on a regular basis more than once a year, and institution-wide drills in which departments and sections related to business continuity participate simultaneously has become a common practice. With regard to future issues, testing/training programs for pandemic influenza were first on the list, followed by improvement in cross-sectional institution-wide drills and implementation of "street-wide exercises", demonstrating relatively strong interest towards items that verify the consistency of business continuity plans from a broad perspective.
  • With regard to countermeasures against pandemic influenza, respondents, fully aware of the urgency, have made efforts to develop countermeasures. Nevertheless, views on specific measures of business continuity during a peak flu period varied considerably among the financial institutions.
  • Many respondents named budget and human resource constraints and difficulty in verifying the consistency of business continuity plans between the respondent and other companies/business sectors as challenges faced in developing business continuity management.


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For further information about this paper, please contact:
Makoto Otake (Mr.), Atsushi Yamazaki (Mr.), Haruhisa Oyama (Mr.),
Financial Systems and Bank Examination Department,
Bank of Japan
Tel: +81-3-3277-2513