Business Continuity Resources

MBA recommends members carefully review the updated Interagency Statement on Pandemic Planning issued by the FFIEC agencies in 2007 in response to the outbreak of the avian flu, which provides a checklist for financial institutions of useful procedures and information sources from which to ensure readiness as challenges continue. While this document was developed with banks in mind, MBA believes that it can also be used as a guide for nonbank financial institutions in setting their own policies and procedures.     

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have developed a Business Pandemic Influenza Planning Checklist that identifies important, specific activities businesses can do now to prepare in the event of an outbreak.

Finally, we encourage our members to work with community planners to integrate their pandemic plans into local and state planning, particularly because the industry's operations and services are deemed to be an essential part of the nation's critical infrastructure or key resource.

Unfortunately, we are already seeing reports of frauds and scams related to the coronavirus disease.  MBA encourages its members to be on the lookout for criminals pretending to be health/disease control agencies, phishing emails and cybercriminals working to deliver malware using coronavirus-themed emails or messages. 

MBA has set up an internal task force to work on MBA preparedness and business continuity plans, provide necessary information and updates to MBA staff and members, and continue to closely monitor the situation and its impact on the mortgage industry.

This page will be updated regularly to provide the latest situational assessments and guidance from public health officials, as well as any important updates or information from the regulatory agencies.   

[Related: HUD COVID-19 Fraud Prevention Tips and Strategies]

[Related: Q&A with Ellie Mae on Preventing Phishing and Ransomwware Attacks While Working from Home]

  • Engage in corporate risk assessment.
  • Identify critical business functions.
  • Identify and categorize essential job functions - including whether required at the workplace, can work from home, or not needed during an outbreak.
  • Establish plans and preparations to be able to respond in a flexible way to varying levels of severity of the disease; including:
    • Cross-training personnel in response to a possible increase in the number of absent/sick employees.
    • Crafting strategies that test different programs, including split workforce strategies.
    • Upgrading IT capabilities to accommodate a possible increase in remote/off-site work arrangements.
  • Test emergency communication channels (internal and external).
  • Create executive or management response procedures.
  • Develop messaging for borrowers - including the impact or effect of an outbreak on the company's services or operations.
  • Developing a business continuity plan that is designed to minimize disruption of services to customers, while limiting the potential effects of the disease on employees.
  • Providing continuous updates to employees - including links to briefings from major public health organizations.
  • Ensuring availability of pandemic kits that include disinfecting wipes, disposable respirators, vinyl gloves and first-aid supplies in the office.
  • Establishing, revisiting or updating their business continuity planning and testing processes that address pandemic response scenarios, such as increased off-site or work-from-home arrangements.
  • Conducting regular crisis management exercises, which include communications capabilities and impact coordination assessments across the organization.
  • Constantly reinforcing and encouraging best health practices in the office; including actively encouraging sick employees to stay home.
  • Monitoring and/or restricting employee travel to affected regions.  Some have imposed a mandatory 14-day work-from-home program for workers who have recently returned from affected regions and/or show any flulike symptoms. 
  • Ensuring that business response plans are flexible and can be refined as needed.
  • Monitoring vendor or third-party partner websites to determine what changes have been made - including airline travel restrictions or cancellations, hotel restrictions, or other vendor cancellations.
  • Constantly monitoring federal, state and local government or agency websites for up to date information on the impact or effect of coronavirus on the agency's activities in relation to industry's operations and activities.