On March 9, the Loan Syndications and Trading Association (“LSTA”), the association for the syndicated loan market in the United States, announced that it members are taking multiple steps to ensure business continuity and a well-functioning loan market during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

The LSTA disclosed that a survey of its board of directors found that each director’s Board member firm has completed or is in the final stages of activating pre-existing business continuity plans as well as tailored responses to unique challenges posed by COVID-19. The LSTA board of directors is a representative cross-section of the loan market, comprising 24 member firms representing both buy-side and sell-side market participants.

Specific actions taken by Board members’ firms to facilitate the continued proper functioning of the loan market include:

  • Proactively dispersing both customer-facing and middle/back office employees to electronically secure alternative locations as a preventative measure to protect employees and avoid exposing them to potential outbreak, as well as for preparing redundancy systems for key market functions
  • Maintaining adequate staffing levels in the event of the continued spread of the virus
  • Implementing procedures to continue to settle and close trades in accordance with LSTA guidance