BOE to en­sure banks re­cover quickly from IT trou­bles

The Gulf Today - Business - - INTERNATIONAL -

LON­DON: Bri­tain’s ma­jor banks will have to meet tar­gets for re­cov­er­ing from cy­ber at­tacks and other dis­rup­tions to key ser­vices, a se­nior Bank of Eng­land of­fi­cial said on Wed­nes­day.

Lyn­don Nel­son, deputy chief ex­ec­u­tive of the Boe’s Pru­den­tial Reg­u­la­tion Author­ity arm, said banks needed to be re­silient to cy­ber at­tacks, or IT dis­rup­tions like those at Bri­tish bank TSB, where cus­tomers were un­able to ac­cess their ac­counts be­cause of com­puter prob­lems.

He said the Boe’s Fi­nan­cial Pol­icy Com­mit­tee had been con­sid­er­ing its “tol­er­ance for dis­rup­tions” to key func­tions in the fi­nance sec­tor.

“As part of this work, it is likely that the FPC will set a min­i­mum level of ser­vice pro­vi­sion it ex­pects for the de­liv­ery of key eco­nomic func­tions in the event of a se­vere but plau­si­ble oper­a­tional dis­rup­tion,” Nel­son told a con­fer­ence. The BOE will pub­lish a dis­cus­sion pa­per on oper­a­tional re­silience. “I ex­pect this to be a sub­stan­tial body of work, so it is likely that we will... fo­cus on some key eco­nomic func­tions and key providers,” Nel­son added.

He said that “tol­er­ances” for IT out­ages would use a com­bi­na­tion of bench­marks, such as time, vol­ume of busi­ness, and mar­ket share.

Nel­son said fi­nan­cial ser­vices com­pa­nies were often at their most vul­ner­a­ble when em­bark­ing on change. “They often dis­cover too late that weak­nesses in their re­silience can jeop­ar­dise the suc­cess of a ma­jor project even if those in­volved be­lieve that they have car­ried out ro­bust test­ing,” he said.

T sb, owned since 2015 by span­ish bank Sabadell, found that thou­sands of cus­tomers were locked out of their ac­counts af­ter a botched mi­gra­tion of its com­puter sys­tems. Some of its cus­tomers’ ac­counts were hit by fraud.

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