Banks required to reveal future system failure plans

Jul 9, 2018


By Kate Brown

The Bank of England and the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) have given financial firms the deadline of three months to outline how they would respond to a technology failure or cyber-attack if their systems failed.

The deadline comes about after some TSB customers were left unable to access their online banking accounts for more than a month in April after a botched systems update. Some small businesses lost the ability to pay staff and suppliers. A number of customers claimed they were able to view accounts and information they had no affiliation to, leading to a data protection breach.

Once banks announce their plans for coping with system failure, they may be ordered to take action if their plans are judged as unsuitable and/or poor. The FCA and Bank of England have announced that senior management at Banks will be held accountable.

An acceptable time frame for disruption due to system failures has been set at two days. According to a statement made by the Bank of England’s Jon Cunliffe and FCA chief executive Andrew Bailey, “Operational disruption can impact financial stability, threaten the viability of individual firms and financial market infrastructures, or cause harm to consumers”.


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