How Belfius Bank’s response to the terrorist attacks in Brussels helped embed business continuity in the company culture

Author(s): 
Ludo Jappens, Business Continuity and Crisis Management Coordinator, Belfius Bank Belgium

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Abstract: Until 2015, major terrorist incidents in Belgium were considered a ‘black swan’. However, the suicide attacks in Paris on 13th November, 2015 provided a wake-up call. Investigations revealed that the raid was prepared in Belgium by jihadists who grew up in Brussels and was coordinated by Belgian ISIS fighters in Syria. In an instant, it became clear that terror had been embedded in Belgian society and could erupt at any moment. At Belfius Bank Belgium, the subsequent months were a rollercoaster ride of terrorist-related events. Business activities were strongly affected, as the company’s head office is located in the centre of Brussels. This paper focuses on the way Belfius responded to the events and how the lessons learned have helped to improve its business continuity and crisis management capability.

 

Keywords: Brussels, terrorist incidents, response plans, resilience

 

Ludo Jappens is a business continuity and crisis management coordinator at Belfius Bank Belgium, where his team won the European and Global Award for ‘BCI Continuity and Resilience team’ in 2016. He has been an active member of the Belgian chapter of the Business Continuity Institute since it was first established. He has a degree in applied economics.

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