In view of the recent novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) outbreak in Asia (including Hong Kong), financial regulators and financial institutions have continued to be pro-active in monitoring the evolving situation and the implications on the market. It is important for financial institutions to have in place relevant measures to ensure continuity and sustainability.
Since the outbreak of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) in Hong Kong back in 2003, financial institutions in Hong Kong have been cautious in reinforcing their preventive measures, contingency procedures, and recovery equipment and facilities to ensure they are effective in handling an outbreak of communicable disease.
At the time of SARS, the regulators in Hong Kong including the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) and the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) issued various guidance and recommendations. In the recent 2019-nCoV situation, the HKMA and the SFC have issued further guidance. We will discuss below the regulatory expectations, the risk areas financial institutions should watch out for and the steps to take.