Following a string of high profile technical blackouts, Britain's biggest banks have been urged by the UK's influential Treasury Select Committee to invest more resources to improve their technology infrastructure and to appoint board directors with knowledge of IT.
In recent months, Royal Bank of Scotland, Barclays and HSBC have all experienced IT outages, angering customers who have been locked out of their accounts and unable to perform routine transactions or make and receive payments.
The Treasury Select Committee chairman Andrew Tyrie has written a public letter to the banks and regulators, stating: "We can’t carry on like this.
“Bank IT systems don’t appear to be up to the job. This brings with it not just conduct risk, but also systemic risk. Someone - probably the head of the PRA, needs to assume a leadership role, bring together those most involved among regulators and government agencies, and ensure that there are improvements at the banks.”
Alongside the Tyrie broadshot, the Select Committee also published correspondence with some of the UK's top bankers, including Barclays chairman John McFarlane, HSBC’s UK and Europe CEO Antonio Simoes and RBS chief executive officer Ross McEwan.
McFarlane says that Barclays is splitting some of IT systems into smaller units to prevent contagion from one problem spreading to other parts of the bank, while RBS' McEwan, says the bank is conducting a root and branch review of its IT management in an effort to shore up its crumbling IT systems.