Banks and insurers face tough cyber stress tests as part of the Bank of England’s plan


Britain’s largest banks and insurance companies face the toughest test yet of their resilience to a major cyberattack as part of the plans drawn up by the Bank of England.

Sky News has learned that the bank’s Financial Policy Committee (FPC) is preparing for the Stress test when it publishes its quarterly financial stability report on Friday.

Industry insiders said they await the test of their ability to withstand a coordinated global series of cyberattacks to be at the heart of the Bank of England’s stressful scenario when carried out later this year.

Banks such as Barclays, HSBC and NatWest Group will be involved in the BoE exercise

The cyber stress test is carried out separately from the Bank of England’s annual review of the capital buffers of banks and insurers.

The FPC has been assessing systemically important British financial institutions with regard to their cyber resilience since 2017.

In 2019, she conducted a pilot exercise aimed at focusing on the financial system’s ability to restore payment services after a major cyberattack.

No detailed results of the exercise were published in which security issues were identified.

File photo dated 08/06/13 of a woman using a laptop
The FPC has been assessing the cyber resilience of large banks since 2017

According to insiders, this year’s stress test should be more far-reaching than two years ago and take place against the backdrop of frequent attacks against state institutions and private companies.

Banks like Barclays, HSBC and NatWest Group will be involved in the exercise, while insurers like Aviva and Direct Line Group are likely to be involved as well, the sources continued.

A Bank of England spokesman declined to comment on Thursday.

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