There is a strong sense of “situation no change” as the 2020s began with three high-profile IT problems in the UK Financial Services Sector.
Firstly, the on-line banking services and mobile apps for Lloyds, Halifax and Bank of Scotland (all part of the Lloyds Banking Group) were all disrupted on New Year’s Day. The disruption is believed to have begun around 0400 and was resolved by midday.
Then, on the 2nd of January, Travelex announced that it had taken down its UK website following the discovery of a “software virus” infection on New Year’s Eve. This then had a knock-on effect on a number of major banks who are reliant on Travelex, including Tesco Bank, HSBC and Virgin Money. Once again, this incident, highlights the importance of managing continuity in your supply chain. At the time of writing (6th Jan) the Travelex UK website still has the message “Our online, foreign currency purchasing service is temporarily unavailable due to planned maintenance. The system will be back online shortly.”
Meanwhile on the 3rd of January, stories began circulating about problems at Yorkshire and Clydesdale Banks (both part of the same group). It emerged that payments, including salaries, that people had been expecting had not appeared in their accounts. The company was reasonably prompt in acknowledging that there was a problem, and assured customers that any charges incurred would be refunded. However, as in previous banking disruptions, there has been criticism of the company’s crisis communications. The bank stopped replying publicly to customer questions on Twitter in the midst of the disruption; and customers have complained about long waits to speak to anybody by phone.