Major IT glitch hits bank customers more than once a WEEK amid fears over our vulnerability to cyberattacks
- Savers and businesses are reliant on making instant payments via computers
- Lloyds, Halifax and Bank of Scotland became the latest to suffer major IT crash
- Many claimed on social media they were unable to pay their staff or their rent
Leading banks are suffering at least one major security or IT glitch every week which stops customers making payments.
Around half of these meltdowns affect online banking, while a quarter impact on mobile banking.
Savers and businesses are increasingly reliant on making instant payments via computers and mobile phones – a trend fuelled by the closure of thousands of bank branches.
But today’s figures will raise fears that this dependence makes the country vulnerable to technology failures and cyberattacks.
Leading banks such as Lloyds, Halifax and Bank of Scotland became the latest to suffer a major IT crash. (Stock image)
Yesterday Lloyds, Halifax and Bank of Scotland customers became the latest to suffer a major IT crash.
Lloyds Banking Group customers were unable to send money online after its ‘faster payments’ service went down.
Many claimed on social media they were unable to pay their staff or their rent or fill up with petrol because they could not move money between accounts.
Under new rules, banks must disclose every major operational or security incident which prevents customers using payments services – anything from cyber hacks to IT malfunctions.
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Analysis of 14 British banks reveals the rising number of incidents reported to the Financial Conduct Authority in the six months from April 1 to September 30.
Both Barclays and Lloyds reported more than 30, which equates to more than one ‘major’ incident every week.
While some failures are quickly resolved, others cause chaos and leave millions locked out of their bank accounts or unable to make payments.
Personal finance expert Andrew Hagger, of MoneyComms, said: ‘More and more of us rely entirely on online and mobile banking which means it’s vital that the IT behind the services is robust and reliable.
Many claimed on social media they were unable to pay their staff or their rent or fill up with petrol because they could not move money between accounts
The banks have been pushing customers down the online banking route for years. However, investment in IT must be a priority.’
Barclays suffered the highest number of security and operational incidents in six months with 34, nine of which impacted online banking payments.
Lloyds had 31 – 22 of which prevented customers making payments through online banking.
Bank of Scotland and Halifax each reported 27, including 19 affecting online banking. These figures include some of the same crashes that affected Lloyds’ systems.
Both Lloyds and Barclays said many of the incidents were minor and had minimal impact.
Other rivals fared better: HSBC and First Direct experienced ten incidents between them with only one impacting online banking. Royal Bank of Scotland, which includes NatWest, had 17 incidents, five of which affected online banking.
While some meltdowns stemmed from bank failures, others were caused by payment providers.
Last June a Visa ‘hardware’ failure left millions of customers unable to pay for goods. In April, 1.9million TSB customers were unable to access their money.
Hannah Maundrell, editor in chief of Money.co.uk, said: ‘I hope all banks invest in updating their old legacy systems.
This is particularly important for customers in rural parts because branches are closing.’
Almost two-thirds of Britain’s bank branches have closed over the past 30 years.
Lloyds said on Twitter yesterday that customers ‘will not be left out of pocket’ by the latest IT issue.
A spokesman for UK Finance, which represents the banks, said: ‘When incidents occur, firms work around the clock to get services running as quickly as possible.’
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