Wednesday 11 December 2019

Bank of Ireland experienced IT outage for second day in a row

Bank of Ireland. Stock photo: Getty Images
Bank of Ireland. Stock photo: Getty Images
Charlie Weston

Charlie Weston

BANK of Ireland has issued a statement saying its systems are working again - the lender today experienced an IT outage for the second day in a row, a development that left customers fuming.

ATMs, the mobile app, online system 365online and Business Online were all out of action.

On Wednesday the bank was unable to process payments, leaving thousands without their wages for a number of hours.

Earlier today the bank had to admit its ATMs and online systems were not operating.

The bank said its debit and credit cards would work at the ATMs of competitor banks and at shop point-of-sale machines in shops.

Bank of Ireland said that there were no problems with payments to and from accounts.

The latest bungle comes despite the bank spending up to €1.4bn on upgrading its dated IT system.

The IT crash coming ahead of Black Friday was a major embarrassment for the bank.

In June 2018 Bank of Ireland said it was investing €1.4bn in what it calls a transformation programme, aimed at improving its business systems and overhauling its software platform as the lender attempts to reduce costs and drive efficiencies over the next three years. It includes a massive €900m reform plan to the IT platform.

Earlier today the regulator of the bank, the Central Bank, said it was monitoring the situation and was in contact with the bank.

"The Central Bank expects all firms to have adequate systems and controls in place and where issues that impact customers arise they should be addressed and rectified urgently, particularly as customers are increasingly using and becoming dependent on online and mobile banking services," it said.

Deputy Central Bank Governor Ed Sibley said in a recent speech that there was a need for what he called substantial investment in Irish banks’ technology and data capabilities.

"Many banks still use outdated and fragmented IT systems. The foundations are not yet sufficiently strong to effectively manage the technology risks," he told a room full of bankers.

Fianna Fáil finance spokesman Michael McGrath said IT outages were happening far too often in our main banks.

"It is well past time the Central Bank carried out a thorough and independent assessment of the adequacy of the IT systems of the retail banks," he said.

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