RBS pledges to boost resilience spend after latest IT failure

RBS pledges to boost resilience spend after latest IT failure

Royal Bank of Scotland is to invest a further £150 million a year to improve the resilience of its IT systems, in the wake of the latest breakdown which saw 600,000 transactions disappear from customer acounts.

The pledge to increase the resilience spend was made at an investor presentation by chief administrative officer Simon McNamara.

The meeting, complete with a slide deck boasting about the bank's technology achievements over the course of the past year, came just a day after an overnight processing failure hit salary, benefit and bill payments and other debit and credit transactions in customer accounts.

The deck talked of the bank's plans to reduce complexity by rationalising IT systems, retro-fitting legacy architecture, reducing supplier count, and investmentment in Ripple technology for automated bank transfers.

McNamara said the past year's efforts - which included remediation of single points of failure for 23 critical systems and the reduction of 500 programmes to under 200 in the past 12 months - had left it better placed to deal with Tuesday's incident.

“Technology will on occasion fail," he said. "If and when that occurs, we need to ensure we can mask the impact on customers and recover as quickly and effectively as possible. It is important that it is handled well and competently."

Comments: (5)

A Finextra member
A Finextra member 19 June, 2015, 13:26Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

Yes when the presentation says that "Key components of Batch Transformation plan complete" and there is a batch processing problem, you do have to wonder.

Is it the plan that is complete and not the actions?

Chris Meggs
Chris Meggs - Chasm management limited - Ipswich 19 June, 2015, 13:53Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes Oh dear, I don't know which is worse, the constant religion of this blame shifting type or the weary retort that I trot out: "banks do money, IT suppliers so IT". IT does not fail, it does what it is instructed to do in a given set of circumstances. If the range of circumstances has not been fully identified, or has been risk modified along the lines of "of course, that'll never happen in real life" then I don't believe its IT to blame.
Keith Appleyard
Keith Appleyard - available for hire - Bromley 19 June, 2015, 20:45Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

I read the whole deck to reach the conclusion that when they refer to "programmes" (as in 500 reduced to 200) they mean "change packages" rather than application programs or systems - so why not use less ambiguous language - are they deliberately confusing the analysts? 

James Piggot
James Piggot - Finastra - London 22 June, 2015, 08:36Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

You have more resilience than me Keith I managed a few slides before giving up. This is a depressing insight into why RBS are in so much trouble, a list of meaningless tasks completed instead of insight into the problems and steps being taken to fix them.

Keith Appleyard
Keith Appleyard - available for hire - Bromley 22 June, 2015, 13:52Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

My monthly Payroll was scheduled for Tuesday; 10% of my employees reported they were impacted and didn't get paid until Friday.