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Cayman Finance Industry Prepared For Hurricane Dean

by Amanda Banks,, London

20 August 2007

The Cayman Islands authorities have assured stakeholders in the jurisdiction's financial services industry that the sector is fully prepared for the potential impact of Hurricane Dean.

"On financial services, the Cayman Islands' financial services sector serves global clientele and is economically very significant. As such, both government agencies and private sector firms have comprehensive business continuity plans in place, and these have all been activated," Stuart Jack, Governor of the Cayman Islands, announced on Sunday.

He continued:

"Our financial services industry, which consists of local and multi-national professional services firms in the legal and accounting fields, as well as branches of regional and global financial services firms in the funds, insurance and banking sectors, is fully committed to continuity of service to our global partners and clients."

"For government agencies that support our financial services industry, such as our industry regulator, the Cayman Islands Monetary Authority, the Maritime Authority and the Stock Exchange, and key departments such as the Registry of Companies, preparedness is critical. Contingencies involve the use of robust business continuity/disaster recovery centres to secure data and ensure fully operational and connected working environments in the event of damage to physical offices."

"Many of the larger professional services firms that are housed in state-of-the-art, secure commercial buildings are utilising their offices as shelters for staff and their families. A number of firms have, as a precaution, moved operations, staff and their families to other sites within their office networks. Others are reserving evacuation for post-event scenarios, depending on the severity of Hurricane Dean's impact. Similar to the public sector, many private sector firms are also employing business continuity/disaster recovery centres."

Mr Jack concluded: "With business continuity plans fully operational it is anticipated that, similar to other storm threats that the Cayman Islands has experienced, our financial services industry will be able to continue to meet the needs of the global markets it serves with minimal disruption."

On Friday, as Dean approached the Cayman Islands, the jurisdiction's financial services regulatory, CIMA, activated its business continuity plan. Equipment and material at CIMA's Elizabethan Square offices was secured and the Authority's primary offsite disaster recovery centre was readied.

In addition to the DRC facilities, CIMA has a second layer of protection in the form of the Brac Informatics Centre (BIC) on Cayman Brac. There is ongoing back-up of critical data from the Authority to the two off-site locations, so that information can be recovered and accessed if the computer systems at CIMA's Elizabethan Square offices become damaged or are made inaccessible.

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