Business meeting during Coronavirus pandemic.

Financial firms and markets generally weathered the onset of the pandemic well, and regulators are looking to use the experience to improve industry resilience.

The International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) published a consultation paper today that examines the impact of the pandemic on trading venues (such as exchanges) and financial intermediaries (such as investment dealers).

The report found the industry was able to keep operating in the face of the pandemic, despite the imposition of public health restrictions, and while facing record trading volumes and market volatility. The industry also successfully navigated increased cybersecurity risks and disrupted outsourcing arrangements, the report noted.

The industry’s resilience during the pandemic can largely be attributed to business continuity preparations by both firms and regulators, the report said. “However, the pandemic has highlighted opportunities to learn lessons on how to further improve regulated entities’ operational resilience.”

For example, the report pointed out that resilience isn’t solely a function of technology; it also depends on a firm’s personnel, premises and policies.

The report also highlighted the importance of governance and the ability to sustain remote working by minimizing manual processes.

The paper recommended that firms “review, update and test” their business continuity plans “to ensure they reflect lessons learned from the pandemic, such as the prolonged nature of the crisis and its impact on multiple locations, as well as the implication of remote/hybrid working.”

IOSCO is seeking feedback on its findings and lessons learned about industry resilience by March 14.