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Target2 experiences total system failure, Sepa payments delayed

Target2 experiences total system failure, Sepa payments delayed

A complete failure of all payment transactions within the Target2 system was experienced for several hours on Friday, with backup systems and contingency modules also initially unable to function.

In a status update posted Sunday, the ECB states that “due to an internal issue affecting the Target2 infrastructure, all settlement services became unavailable from approximately 14:40 CET."

“As a consequence, no payment, ancillary system instructions or liquidity transfers from/to TIPS and T2S could be processed for several hours. The ICM was also unavailable.”

With the backup system failing to boot up, it was necessary to move the production site from one region to the other to restore normal operations.

The failover was completed around 22:30 CET after which the ICM became available and settlement services were restarted. Friday's processing window wasn’t closed until after 3:00am Saturday morning once the pending transactions had been processed.

An article by finanzSzene.de reports that there were still delays to Sepa instant payments being experienced during Monday morning.

The ECB update from Sunday states that a thorough analysis of the root-cause of the incident has been launched and the ECB has already excluded a “cyber-related incident.”

The ECB and Bundesbank have declined to comment on the cause of the outage, when Sepa payments will return to normal or why the failover nor contingency modules failed to operate.

UPDATE: The ECB posted an update at 7:00 CET Tuesday that the TARGET2 system is now operating normally. No further updates about the cause of the disruption have been provided.

Comments: (2)

Chetan Ghadge
Chetan Ghadge - Wipro - Pune 27 October, 2020, 06:37Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

The headline "Target2 experiences total system failure" is quite alarming and concerning !!!.

Does anyone have anymore insights on what really happened.

Ketharaman Swaminathan
Ketharaman Swaminathan - GTM360 Marketing Solutions - Pune 27 October, 2020, 12:25Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

Having been involved in the implementation of TARGET2 at a Top 5 UK Bank, I was shocked to read the headline. In the days of ransomware and all that, it's nice to know that cybercrime has been ruled out as the root cause. Back in the day, I'm guessing we wouldn't have been as relieved to note that the outage is perhaps just down to mundane things like the failure of a new release or patch!