RBS Facing Investigation Over Epic 2012 IT Fail

Tom Brewster is TechWeek Europe's Security Correspondent. He has also been named BT Information Security Journalist of the Year in 2012 and 2013.

Financial Conduct Authority is ready to probe RBS and could levy a fine

Despite the event occurring almost a year ago, RBS is facing an enforcement investigation into notorious IT failures that caused carnage in June and July 2012.

It could result in a hefty fine for the bank, which is majority-owned by the taxpayer.

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), which replaced the Financial Services Authority this month, said it would “reach its conclusions in due course and will decide whether or not enforcement action should follow that investigation”.

Fotolia: You Fail!---keyboard © gow27 #38082186RBS IT fail

Problems started for RBS and NatWest customers on 21 June, leaving them unable to access their accounts and make transactions.

It later emerged that a piece of software, a CA7 batch process scheduler that lines up processes automatically, failed. That led to millions of customer accounts freezing.

RBS had blamed the issue on human error. Others suggested that RBS’ outsourcing of management of the affected software was to blame, whilst others lambasted the use of complex legacy systems.

The bank has already stated costs of £175 million related to the IT disaster, handing out plenty of compensation to customers. Ulster Bank was also badly impacted.

RBS was in a conciliatory mood today, following the FCA’s announcement. “Last summer’s IT failure was unacceptable,” a spokesperson said, in an emailed statement sent to TechWeekEurope.

“We have already made significant improvements and over the next three years will invest hundreds of millions of pounds in our systems. We will be working closely with our regulators in the UK and the Republic of Ireland. Our customers deserve a service they can rely on 100 percent of the time and that’s what we want to provide.”

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