IT Failure Figures Now Being Published By UK Banks

IT outages at UK banks are far more common than you may think

Bank IT Failure Figures - Frustrated man at computer

Recent findings from the Financial Conduct Authority show that IT outages at UK banks are far more common than you may think, with every current account provider experiencing IT failures at least once per month.

The Financial Conduct Authority Data Findings

The BBC analysed the data published by the FCA, the authority to which banks report their IT issues. It is now mandatory for all current account providers to report operational and security issues every quarter. The findings show that while banks are closing more and more branches and encourage customers to bank online, not enough of the money and resources saved from these closures is being invested in their online services.

The majority of banks fell victim to more than ten shutdowns in just nine months, between April 2018 and December 2018. Barclays came out worst from this analysis as it had reported the most problems, however, what was interesting about this was although it had suffered from many IT failings, it still had a good customer service ranking coming in joint fifth for overall satisfaction in a survey of over 16,000 people.

The majority of banks fell victim to more than ten shutdowns in just nine months, between April 2018 and December 2018.

Barclays also came in second place for mobile and online banking and this information was provided by the market research company GFK. A spokesperson for Barclays did respond saying that they ‘report every incident to the regulator’ and also added that when online services are facing issues, customers are still able to visit local branches or use telephone banking. Furthermore, the bank has a dedicated status page that customers can visit to see if there are any services currently not working.

Barclays Bank - Building at Night
Barclays’ system failures have come under scrutiny despite praise for its products

This is the first time that this type of data has been available to customers as previously there was little evidence to show how many IT shutdowns banks were experiencing. A representative for the banks from UK Finance said that they were working to minimise any disruption and get services up and running as quickly as possible after any IT issues.

The government is also invested in the IT failures of banks with an ongoing enquiry into this by the Treasury Committee. The chair of this committee, Nicky Morgan, noted that these figures are ‘concerning’ in light of customers being driven online by banks and becoming reliant on these services to be working efficiently.

Further Transparency Of Service From Banks

From February 15th 2019, providers are now also required to provide customers with more transparency on banking operations such as the length of time taken to open a current account, debit card replacement times and if they offer 24-hour help.

This information will now make it much easier for customers to look at and compare what is being offered by different banks, and decide whether or not they should switch. This information can be found on bank websites. This has now been mandatory for several weeks and the figures show that while overdrafts can generally be provided quickly, the same cannot be said for lost or stolen cards which can take around five days to be replaced.