Deloitte to investigate Bank of England outage

The Bank of England has chosen Deloitte to launch an investigation into a systems outage that forced the temporary suspension of the Clearing House Automated Payments System (CHAPS) last month.

The Bank of England has chosen Deloitte to launch an investigation into a systems outage that forced the temporary suspension of the Clearing House Automated Payments System (CHAPS) last month.

A technical glitch, produced during routine maintenance, affected the Bank of England’s Real Time Gross Settlement System (RTGS) and prevented payments from being processed.

All payments from the day of the outage were settled after the Bank of England and CHAPS worked extended opening hours.

A statement on the bank’s website today said: “The review will investigate the causes of the incident, the effectiveness of the Bank’s response and provide lessons learned from the incident.”

The Bank states the investigation will look in depth at what caused the fault, as well as review the robustness and governance of the system.

It will also determine how well the bank reacted to the downtime, and whether the back-up plans and incident management were effective in solving the issues.

The results of the assessment, as well as any additional comments made by the Bank of England about the findings, will be presented at the court of the Bank of England early next year.

The bank faced government pressure due to lack of transparency at the time of the incident, and has also received criticism due to remarks made claiming other bank’s IT systems are far from being ‘robust’.

The Bank of England's Prudential Regulation Authority approached UK banks to find the likelihood of an RBS-like crash occurring at their organisations.“When RBS had problems last year, the regulators contacted other banks and we had to provide statements and evidence to show how we would not suffer a similar fate,” said one senior IT source in the UK banking sector.

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

Banks are notorious for working around legacy IT systems, and an IBM report recently found that despite this, many are still not contemplating systems replacement.

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