The Bank of England, the Financial Services Authority and the UK Treasury have released a joint report that assesses how ready London's financial community is to deal with a terrorist atrocity.

The survey found that there were some worrying gaps in banks and insurers’ contingency plans in the event of such a catastrophe, with more than half of the businesses surveyed having no plans to cope with staff fatalities. Of the 60 companies quizzed by the FSA, only half had casualty plans in place, while many more did not regularly undertake drills to practice evacuating buildings.

The FSA commented that overall, the London financial community takes the risk of such a disaster seriously, and has gone some way to implementing the necessary business continuity plans, though more could be done. The report said that too much emphasis may have been placed on maintaining IT systems at the expense of other parts of the business.

Almost all participant firms have already indicated that they are planning to make changes to their business continuity arrangements as a result of what they have learned from the project. We will aim to build on our existing approach of identifying what constitutes good practice and sharing this with firms, said the FSA’s wholesale firms managing director, Hector Sants.