Australia's central bank is preparing a crackdown on operational disruptions at the country's leading banks following a series of major outages in retail payment systems and Internet banking sites. The RBA's intervention comes as Westpac warned customers that it was experiencing intermittent problems with its Web site.
The latest outage at Westpac follows a stream of major operational disruptions that has afflicted all of the nation's biggest banks over the past eighteen months. Both Commonwealth Bank of Australia and Westpac have suffered repeated downtime in their online banking and payments systems as they undergo multi-year IT transformation projects to replace their legacy core banking platforms.
As an initial measure, the Reserve Bank says it intends to "formalise its requirements for the reporting of major retail payments system incidents".
The RBA says it may also insist upon additional measures, including an official investigation into the organisation of the banks' retail operations.
The central bank says it is particularly interested in uncovering the sources of vulnerability in retail operational processes, with a particular focus on existing controls, safeguards and contingencies, and plans for upgrade and enhancement of the technology supporting retail operations and "the objectives of these plans".