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Following the lead of top U.S. bank regulators who suggested more legislation might be needed to halt DDoS (Denial of Service) and other cyberattacks on banks, the Bank of England, which has the colorful sobriquet of the Old Lady of Threadneedle Street, warned Britain’s banks should have concrete plans in place over the next few months to deal similar cyberattacks.
If we might digress, the way the Bank of England got the moniker the Old Lady of Threadneedle Street is curious. According to Ellen Castelow on historic-uk.com, one Sarah Whitehead had a brother Philip. A somewhat disgruntled former employee of the Bank of England, Philip took to forgery as a profession. Evidently he wasn’t much better as a forger than as an employee because he was executed for his crime. If we might digress from the digression — Think the subprime meltdown and subsequent recession might’ve been averted altogether if we still maintained the custom of capital punishment for crimes against “capital”?
Anyway, writes Castelow, “Poor Sarah was so shocked she became ‘unhinged’ and every day for the next 25 years she went to the Bank and asked to see her brother. When she died she was buried in the old churchyard that later became the Bank’s garden, and her ghost has been seen on many occasions in the past.”
Since that time, Ms. Whitehead’s nickname became synonymous with the bank itself.
Okay, back to business. Minutes from a recent Bank of England Financial Policy Committee meeting reported on finextra.com that the UK banking financial system has “a number of potential vulnerabilities, reflecting its high degree of interconnectedness, its reliance on centralised market infrastructure, and its sometimes complex legacy IT systems.”
Currently, the British Treasury is assessing, testing and working to improve cyberprotection for the nation’s financial system. In that regard the Treasury is developing best practices guidelines.
The Financial Policy Committee wants regulators to ensure all banks in the UK provide progress reports at the end of 2013 and have concrete action plans ready for Q1 of 2014.
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