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Minister orders review after Bank of Ireland IT glitch

Minister orders review after Bank of Ireland IT glitch

Ireland's minister for finance has called for an investigation into the robustness of banking technology infrastructure after a technical glitch with Bank of Ireland's (BoI) mobile banking app enabled customers to seemingly withdraw free money.

Michael McGrath has asked for a "full account" of the blunder from both BoI and the central bank.

The error, which was first detected on Sunday evening, led users opf BoI's mobie banking app to believe that they could transfer up to €500 to a Revolut account teven if they had no funds in their bank account. 

Thanks to social media, the news spread quickly and led to massive queues outside BoI branches around the country as customers attempted to withdraw the cash from ATMs. 

However, any hopes of free money were dashed when the bank subsequently announced that the error had been fixed and any withdrawals would be debited from customers' accounts, incouding those who withdrew funds that exceeded their bank balances. 

One day on, McGrath is calling for answers. "I have asked the Central Bank of Ireland to establish a full account of what happened, why it happened and what will be done to avoid a repeat. My officials have been in contact with the Central Bank of Ireland and Bank of Ireland today."

The minister is also seeking to launch a wider review of banking technology infrastructure. 

“Given our growing dependence on technology for the delivery of financial services, I have asked my officials to engage with the Central Bank on its assessment of the robustness of this Bank of Ireland incident, and more broadly the robustness of the technology systems used by regulated, customer-facing financial service providers here in Ireland, and whether any further steps are required to reduce the risk of outages that impact on customers,” he said.

It is not the first time that ATMs have made the news in Ireland in recent years. High street bank AIB was forced to reverse plans to remove cash services from 70 of its 170 branches across the country due to a customer backlash. 

Nor is it the first time that BoI has experienced IT problems. In 2021, the bank was given a €24.5m fine by the central bank over IT deficiencies that took over a decade to fix. 

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