Italy’s Banco BPM is rushing to erect new “catastrophe recovery rooms” after an area near one of its current crisis facilities emerged as the epicenter of the coronavirus epidemic, three sources acquainted with the matter said.
Italy’s third-largest lender, emerged from the merger of Banca Popolare di Milano with Verona-based Banco Popolare, has its core activities in the northern regions of Lombardy and Veneto, the areas hardest hit by one of the world’s worst pandemic of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outside of China.
Authorities have identified as the center of the virus a cluster of towns located near Lodi, about 60 km (40 miles) southeast of Milan, in addition to a smaller zone in neighboring Veneto where a total of 50,000 people have been placed under quarantine.
Underground rooms outfitted with computers the place a bank’s IT programs can run are part of lenders’ “business continuity” plans, aimed toward ensuring they can proceed to operate in a disaster situation.
While the Lodi center has not been closed, the lender is rushing to get similar services prepared in Novara, a city in Piedmont, and Bergamo, a city north of Milan, the sources added.
One of the sources stated the various rooms didn’t differ in terms of their capabilities and each one of them would permit the financial institution to manage all routine activities in case of an emergency.
Banco BPM will outline a new business plan Tuesday. Because of the global coronavirus pandemic, like different corporations in Milan, it will hold an online investor presentation.
Since the disease came to light on February 20, Italy has registered more than 2,000 confirmed cases and 52 deaths, most in the Lombardy area around the financial hub Milan.