Report: Bank Outage Shows Failure in Crisis Management

Bank of EnglandA major payments system outage at the Bank of England has revealed serious weaknesses in its crisis management resources, according to a recent report published by the bank itself.

Last October, the BoE suspended transfers of nearly 300 million pounds (about $447 million) after a technical failure. Though most of the transfers were eventually completed that day, almost a third of house purchases weren’t completed until the next day or even later.

From the report: “In the absence of … robust crisis management arrangements within the Bank, there were insufficient resources in place to co-ordinate and communicate response activities.”

Other alarming issues:

  • Multiple members of executive management failed to see the initial email alerting them to the problem, as they were on business trips, and
  • Staff did not start a back-up system because it was relatively untested, preferring to focus on solving the existing problem — though the back-up could have mitigated the impact on the economy.

 

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