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Financial Institution Letters

Interagency Statement on Pandemic Planning
Guidance for Minimizing a Pandemic's Potential Adverse Effects
February 6, 2008

Summary: The Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council has issued the attached "Interagency Statement on Pandemic Planning" (Statement) identifying actions that financial institutions should take to minimize the potential adverse effects of a pandemic. An institution's business continuity plan should address pandemics and provide a preventive program, a documented strategy scaled to the stages of a pandemic outbreak, a comprehensive framework to ensure the continuance of critical operations, a testing program, and an oversight program to ensure that the plan is reviewed and updated.


  • The Statement explains the differences between traditional business continuity planning and pandemic planning, as well as the unique challenges posed by a pandemic.
  • Pandemic plans, reflecting an institution's size, complexity and business activities, should be sufficiently flexible to effectively address a wide range of possible effects that could result from a pandemic.
  • The Statement describes risk-assessment and risk- management steps that are important for pandemic planning, such as coordinating with outside parties and providing employees with remote access.
  • The Statement highlights the specific challenges faced by management and the mitigating controls that should be considered when developing a pandemic plan.
  • An institution's pandemic planning activities should involve senior management from all functional areas including administration, human resources, legal, IT support, and key product lines.
  • A key challenge is developing a testing program that provides a high degree of assurance that critical business processes will function even during a severe pandemic.
  • The Statement identifies some of the guidance issued by other federal agencies and industry associations to assist institutions in developing plans for pandemic events.

FDIC-Supervised Banks (Commercial and Savings)

Suggested Routing:
Chief Executive Officer
Chief Information Officer
Chief Information Security Officer
Chief Compliance Officer
Human Resources Manager

Related Topics:
Influenza Pandemic Preparedness
Business Continuity Planning

Interagency Statement on Pandemic Planning - PDF (PDF Help)

Senior Examination Specialist Donald Saxinger at
dsaxinger@fdic.gov or (202) 898- 6521 or
Examination Specialist Stephanie S. Wilson at
stwilson@fdic.gov or (202) 898-8512

Printable Format:
FIL-6-2008 - PDF (PDF Help)

FDIC financial institution letters (FILs) may be accessed from the FDIC's Web site at http://www.fdic.gov/news/news/financial/2008/index.html

To receive FILs electronically, please visit http://www.fdic.gov/about/subscriptions/fil.html.

Paper copies of FDIC financial institution letters may be obtained via the FDIC's Public Information Center (1-877-275-3342 or 703-562-2200).

Last Updated 2/6/2008 communications@fdic.gov

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