Markets In Action

How Banks Speed Recovery after Disaster Made Landfall

For months after Hurricane Sandy made landfall in the New York mid-Atlantic region, local businesses in the hardest hit areas faltered and some subway tunnels and stations required months of repair. Economic losses from the storm totaled $65 billion.

During these challenging times, our nation’s financial institutions helped to promote a safer economy. “When disasters do occur, the importance of the financial services industry to our economy is even greater,” according to a case study by SIFMA, which helped the industry mitigate the impact of the storm on the financial markets.

The result of SIFMA’s efforts to coordinate the industry’s response to the storm was “members and investors who knew what to expect and when, minimal disruption of the markets and zero controversy upon resumption of trading,” the report stated.

With SIFMA’s support before, during and after Sandy, financial institutions were able to recover quickly from the storm and contribute significantly to the recovery efforts in New York and New Jersey. Days before the storm made landfall in the mid-Atlantic, as major airlines were already cancelling most flights and costal zones were evacuated, SIFMA began helping its members prepare for the storm. Preparations included activating protocols on how firms would respond to any disruptions, opening lines of communication with financial regulators and local governments and establishing a website for its members to see how industry utilities were being affected by Sandy’s arrival.

On October 28, 2012, Hurricane Sandy made landfall. In the aftermath of the storm, SIFMA guided its members’ response to the storm, coordinated decision making on market closures, shared information on the status of power and transportation networks, assisted firms in working with city and state officials to resolve operational issues and answered important market and trading questions.

In addition to remaining resilient during the course of the storm, the nation’s financial institutions were able to contribute for disaster recovery efforts. Not only in the hardest hit areas of Hurricane Sandy, but also around the country, financial institutions donated millions in recent disaster relief efforts.