Bank of England suffers system outage

Bank of England temporarily suspends Clearing House Automated Payments System after glitch

The Bank of England is facing criticism after it was forced to temporarily suspend the Clearing House Automated Payments System (CHAPS) after a technical glitch.

The fault affected the Bank of England’s Real Time Gross Settlement System (RTGS) and prevented payments.         

A statement from the Bank of England said: “The Bank of England has identified a technical issue related to some routine maintenance of the RTGS payment system.”

The RTGS is dedicated to processing significant payments. Eighty per cent of payments processed by CHAPS are domestic or cross-border wholesale payments.

Customers were unable to complete the purchase of properties on time, but the Bank of England and CHAPS extended opening hours to process missed payments, and important payments were processed manually throughout the day.

All payments from the day of the outage were settled during the extended opening hours.

A representative from CHAPS said: “By the end of the day, CHAPS processed just under 143,000 payments, which is in line with daily volumes.”

The Bank of England is facing criticism and government pressure due to lack of transparency. In response, the governor of the Bank of England, Mark Carney, has launched an independent investigation into the issue, which will be presented to court and published.

Earlier this year, the Payments Systems Regulator was launched to monitor the payments sector and promote competition, transparency and innovation.

Economic secretary to the Treasury, Andrea Leadsom MP, said: “The government set up the Payments Systems Regulator to increase competition in the banking sector and encourage innovation so customers can realise the benefits of new technologies."

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