Barclays tops the list
Since 2018, UK banks have been required to publish details of the number of operational and security incidents that occur throughout the year. The latest data has revealed that the major banks suffer, on average, more than 10 digital outages a month.
Barclays suffered 33 incidents in twelve months, making them the bank with the most reported problems. NatWest was second with 25 incidents, and Lloyds Bank came in third with 23.
A spokesperson for Barclays said that their systems are designed to ensure continuity of service for customers. He explained that in the event of a digital systems incident there is a range of alternative channels available to customers, such as calling their help desk.
Both RBS and Barclays claim that they have seen a decrease in the volume of incidents recorded year on year, due to significant investments in updating digital systems. Both banks have committed to improve services to minimize disruption and enhance the customer experience.
On the 20th of August 2019, RBS faced an IT outage which affected its credit card customers. Customers were unable to see their banking information via web browser or phone apps. When customers contacted RBS via phone the help desk staff also had no access to online systems and could not offer any assistance, which concerned customers further.
RBS issued a statement apologizing to customers who were impacted by the outage. They blamed the incident on a third-party service provider and said they were working closely to resolve the issue as quickly as possible.
Meanwhile, Barclays is preparing their customers for another outage. They announced that digital and telephone services will be unavailable overnight from 11:30 pm on the 22nd of August 2019, until 6 am on the 23rd of August while the bank updates its system.
Under the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), banks are required to publish information about the number of major operational and security incidents experienced throughout the year. Customers are provided with the tools that they need to work out how easily they can carry out day to day banking activities, as well as the reliability of the service that they are signed up to.
Having to publish this information should also increase the incentive for banks to invest in and offer better services, helping customers get the most out of their banking experience.
Operational resilience is crucial in the financial system and must be a key priority for the industry. Banks must continue to invest in and enhance the customer experience.
Have you been affected by a bank outage in the last year? Let us know on Twitter @Hyve!