Resilience partnerships

The Bank of Canada plays a leadership role in bringing together stakeholders from across the country to promote the operational and cyber resilience of the financial sector.

Canadian Financial Sector Resiliency Group

The Canadian Financial Sector Resiliency Group (CFRG) is a public-private partnership. Its objective is to strengthen the financial sector’s critical infrastructure against risks to business operations, including from cyber incidents. It does this by:

  • coordinating responses of the critical financial sector to systems-level incidents
  • facilitating initiatives that enhance the critical financial sector’s resilience

The CFRG activates its crisis coordination function in response to systems-level operational incidents that have the potential to disrupt the Canadian financial system. Working together, CFRG members coordinate their incident responses and proactively share information to limit incident impacts.

In recent years, the CFRG has become increasingly intent on promoting resilience across sectors. In 2023, it established a cross-sectoral working group to focus on assessing the risks that arise from the interconnectivity of the financial, telecommunications and electricity sectors.

Cross-sectoral resilience was also a major theme of an article by Filipe Dinis, the Bank’s Chief Operating Officer and chair of the CFRG.1 In it, he called for increased cross-sectoral collaboration as a way to strengthen the resilience of Canada’s critical infrastructure.

Resiliency of the Wholesale Payment System

The Resiliency of the Wholesale Payment System (RWPS) forum is another public-private partnership. It focuses on strengthening the cyber resilience of the wholesale payment system by enhancing and exercising cyber security capabilities related to:

  • threat prevention and detection
  • incident coordination and response
  • recovery from cyber incidents

One of the important ways RWPS members work toward the group’s objectives is by collaborating on industry resilience exercises. Through these exercises, participants test their collective capacity to deliver a rapid, effective and coordinated response to a simulated incident.

Looking forward

In 2024, the CFRG will continue to address barriers to information sharing in the Canadian financial sector. It will also work to mature its collaboration with the telecommunications and energy sectors, including through a joint tabletop exercise that will test crisis coordination and communications processes across sectors.

The RWPS will remain focused on simulation exercises that test the industry’s capacity to prevent, detect and respond to cyber events. This will include assessing and evolving the industry’s capabilities through prioritized best practices for cyber security.

In addition to its work with the CFRG and RWPS, the Bank will continue to promote and reinforce systemic resilience through other domestic and international partnerships, such as the G7 Cyber Expert Group. These efforts help to ensure that cyber security risks to Canada’s financial system are understood, communicated and managed effectively.

  1. 1. F. Dinis, “Collaboration is key to mature the resilience of Canada’s critical infrastructure,” Financial Post, July 18, 2022.[]

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