Automated trading was suspended on the London Stock Exchange for the whole of Friday morning because of technical problems. It is not clear if the problem was connected to the roll-out of technology to enable faster trading earlier in February but the exchange’s ‘Turquoise’ trading platform, which was already using this new technology, crashed in November last year. The London Stock Exchange has however stressed that there is no connection with the stoppage at Borsa Italiana, which it also owns, last week.
This conjunction of events has caused some customers of the exchange to call for greater resilience. That in itself is fairly predictable but the extent of the anger caused appears to have a lot to do with timing. Like many businesses, stock exchanges have busy periods and quiet times and the impact on customers of the outage last Friday was greatly magnified by the current volatility of the market caused by events in North Africa. It is therefore very important, when conducting Business Impact Analyses, to take note of how business varies over time: contingency plans that may work well at a quiet time of the year may be completely inappropriate during busier periods.