Towergate says new venture will help brokers to satisfy FSA business continuity rules

Brokers will be able to purchase business interruption office facilities from a new venture headed by Towergate director Paul Dyer.

Dyer said the service, which will be available to the general broker market, as well as Towergate brokers, will help brokers meet FSA continuity planning requirements.

Business Continuity Planning (BCP), of which Dyer is managing director, has created seven Work Area Recovery (WAR) sites around the UK to provide office and IT facilities to brokers in the event of a disaster.

Each BCP site has space for at least 50 workstations, and staff could begin work at a site the day after a disaster.

Dyer said the offering was the first of its kind aimed specifically at the broker market. "It's a very limited marketplace at the moment. Very few companies provide office-based facilities as part of their business continuity propositions."

The FSA requires all regulated financial companies to consider the need for a risk-based business continuity management framework, including an appropriate business continuity plan.

"Disaster recovery plans are going to become a critical issue for brokers because of the FSA," Dyer said.

Purchasers have to provide IT specifications in advance, plus back-up data and devices to work in conjunction with the on-site server. The service allows brokers a three-month WAR occupation, with monthly charges thereafter.

The venture is currently being rolled out to brokers, with the sites set to go live early in the summer. Dyer said he believed the demand for the service would "inevitably" lead to identification of further sites before the end of 2005.