Statement: Essential Services

31 March 2020 Press Release

Central Bank of Ireland
On 27 March, the Government published “New Public Health Measures to prevent further spread of COVID-19” including a list and associated guidance regarding essential services effective from 28 March 2020.

The list includes banking and financial services. The guidance provides that financial services firms identify which staff are essential to the provision of financial services as firms are best placed to make this assessment.

The Central Bank expects that the Chief Executive Officer or other relevant member of senior management should be accountable for ensuring an adequate process so that only individuals in roles necessary to perform essential financial services, who cannot work remotely, are designated as essential financial services workers.

Firms will at this point be operating Business Continuity Plans. Given the global nature of the COVID19 emergency, interconnections between financial service providers and financial markets, reliance on outsourced service providers and firms’ dependence on key staff, the Central Bank expects financial service firms’ boards and senior management to actively monitor developments in order to be in the best position to pre-empt and respond to rapidly changing circumstances. In the context of maintaining essential financial services this includes, but is not limited to:

  • Ensuring Business Continuity Plans are kept under review with appropriate contingency plans in the context of evolving developments both locally and globally.
  • Ensuring appropriate designation of staff as essential financial services workers in order to be able to rotate and/or replace essential staff as necessary.
  • Engaging with critical services providers, contractors and other services to ensure maintenance of services and designation of their staff as essential service staff as necessary.
  • Ensuring cooperation with other financial services providers in order to seek to ensure continuity of essential consumers services in a service sector or region.
  • Notifying the Central Bank, as soon as possible, where they believe circumstances present a risk to the maintenance of essential services to consumers, industry or markets.