In a statement today the watchdog said: “We expect all firms to have contingency plans in place to deal with major events.
“Alongside the Bank we are actively reviewing the contingency plans of a wide range of firms. This includes assessments of operational risks, the ability of firms to continue to operate effectively and the steps firms are taking to serve and support their customers.
The FCA said it expected firms to take all “reasonable steps” to meet regulatory obligations despite any problems that might occur.
It said, for example, it expected firms to be able to enter orders and transactions promptly into relevant systems, use recorded lines when trading and give staff access to the compliance support they need.
The regulator said if firms can meet this requirement and undertake these activities from backup sites or with staff working from home, it had “no objection to this.”
The FCA is discussing with firms and trade associations any issues they may have and is working with them to resolve these. It says it will keep its guidance under review as necessary.
The regulator said it was working closely with all parts of the financial services sector to ensure it is responding effectively to the Covid-19 outbreak. It is also working in tandem with the Bank of England and HM Treasury.