MPs slam Northern Ireland bank IT systems as 'not fit for purpose'

MPs slam Northern Ireland bank IT systems as 'not fit for purpose'

Northern Ireland's banks have been urged by MPs to plough their profits into updating "antiquated" IT systems.

In a report into the province's banking sector, the Northern Ireland Affairs Committee cites the 2012 and 2013 meltdowns at Ulster Bank as evidence that "banks' IT systems are not fit for purpose".

In 2012 a major tech problem knocked out payment processing systems at Ulster Bank and parent RBS. Millions of customers were locked out of their accounts, many for several weeks. In late 2013 another issue saw Ulster Bank customers unable to access online systems or use their cards for payments.

This was a "totally unacceptable situation", says the report, which argues that now that Northern Ireland's banks have returned to profit, more money should be pumped into updating IT systems.

The MPs also called for the publication of a Financial Conduct Authority report into the 2012 glitch: "The public were badly let down by Ulster Bank, and we believe, therefore, that either Ulster Bank, or the FCA, should publish its report into the Bank's "IT glitch" without any further delay."

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