Financial Compliance: FFIEC Changes and Preparis Testing Solutions

Mar 18, 2024

The landscape of regulatory and compliance requirements for companies operating in the financial sector has undergone a significant transformation in the last few years with the release of the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council's (FFIEC) updated Business Continuity Management booklet.

This comprehensive rewrite introduces fundamental changes, shifting to a more encompassing Business Continuity Management (BCM) approach. In this article, we'll examine the main modifications, discuss the concept of resilience, and emphasize how Preparis continuity software and its testing and exercising resources can help financial institutions effortlessly meet these new expectations. In addition to these resources, Preparis also offers expert consulting services to help create plans, test, and implement best practices for your organization.

Resilience as a Core Element

A pivotal change introduced by the FFIEC is the focus on "resilience" in addition to traditional response and recovery efforts. Resilience is defined as the ability to prepare for and adapt to changing conditions, withstand disruptions, and recover rapidly from incidents. This includes deliberate attacks, accidents, or natural threats. The guidance urges financial institutions to incorporate proactive measures into the design of operations and processes to mitigate the risk of disruptive events.

Testing's Elevated Role in Compliance

The FFIEC's updated guidance amplifies the importance of testing and exercising within the business continuity management framework. This strategic shift recognizes that a well-prepared and tested response is vital for financial institutions to recover from disruptions and withstand and adapt to changing conditions. In the eyes of regulators, resilience is not merely about reactive measures but extends to proactive, pre-recovery efforts that can minimize the impact of disruptive events. It’s recommended that plans are tested at least once a year or semi-annually to stay ahead of potential interruptions.

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The Preparis Advantage in Testing

As financial institutions grapple with this new testing-centric paradigm, Preparis emerges as a critical solution that aligns seamlessly with the FFIEC's expectations. Leveraging the expertise of seasoned consultants, Preparis offers a comprehensive suite of testing and exercising resources that address and enhance each phase of the testing process:

1. Tabletop Exercises and Beyond

Preparis offers an array of testing and exercising resources, with a particular focus on tabletop exercises. These exercises simulate real-world scenarios, allowing organizations to assess their readiness and response strategies in a controlled environment. From full-scale simulations to limited-scale and tabletop exercises, Preparis, supported by expert consultants, provides a spectrum of testing options to suit each financial entity's unique needs and complexity. Our experts can lead the exercise or offer real-time advice while your team runs the simulation.

2. Employee Training Integration

Testing isn't just about evaluating systems; it's about ensuring your personnel is well-versed in recovery priorities and procedures. Preparis, with our team of expert consultants, integrates testing seamlessly into employee training exercises, creating a holistic approach that verifies the knowledge and preparedness of staff members. This interconnected approach not only helps organizations fulfill regulatory requirements but also strengthens the human element in the continuity equation.

3. Issue Identification and Resolution

Preparis goes beyond testing facilitation; by tracking and documenting all issues identified during exercises. This documentation becomes a valuable resource for financial institutions, enabling them to implement corrective actions promptly and continuously to enhance their business continuity program.

4. Lesson-Learned Integration

Testing is not just a compliance checkbox; it's a learning opportunity. Preparis places a strong emphasis on the integration of lessons learned from testing exercises. By embracing a philosophy of preparedness, and fostering a culture of readiness through education, training, and regular testing, organizations can empower their employees to become the first line of defense against various threats, including physical and cyber dangers. This ensures that each testing iteration contributes to improving the overall program. By leveraging these insights, financial entities can enhance their resilience and responsiveness over time.

5. Comprehensive Board Reporting

Transparent communication with the board and senior management is essential for regulatory compliance. Preparis streamlines the reporting process by providing a comprehensive overview of the entire testing lifecycle. From initial objectives and scenarios to identified issues and resolution plans, Preparis ensures that board reporting is not just a formality but a strategic communication tool.


In the evolving landscape of financial sector regulations, the FFIEC's updated Business Continuity Management booklet introduces a paradigm shift in how business continuity is managed. Embracing this change requires a strategic approach, and Preparis continuity software emerges as a valuable ally in achieving and maintaining compliance effortlessly.

Preparis empowers financial institutions to navigate the complexities of the regulatory landscape with confidence and ease, utilizing our expert consultants as well as our library of testing resources. As the industry moves towards a resilience-focused future, Preparis stands as a reliable partner in ensuring the continuity and success of financial entities in the face of evolving threats and disruptions.

Business Continuity Testing Kit

Testing and exercising are critical parts of any successful BCP. Use these resources to test your preparedness.