The Central Bank needs to rigorously assess the IT systems of banks operating in Ireland following a series of IT issues which have had a major impact on customers, according to Fianna Fáil spokesperson on Finance Michael McGrath.
Deputy McGrath was commenting following the latest IT glitch in the Irish banking system – this time in Bank of Ireland – which had a major effect on employees waiting for their salary payment over the past couple of days.
Deputy McGrath stated, “Problems with IT systems are now becoming an all too common feature of the Irish banking system. It is simply unacceptable that bank customers would be repeatedly inconvenienced by failures of banks’ IT systems.
“In the summer of 2012, Ulster Bank customers were forced for several weeks to go to a branch of the bank to carry out basic transactions when the bank suffered a major systems failure. In recent times, Bank of Ireland, AIB, Permanent TSB and Ulster Bank have all had systems problems of varying degrees of seriousness.
“People are entirely at the mercy of financial institutions when it comes to the administration of their personal finances and they need to be assured that adequate systems and safeguards are in place to protect their funds. It is now clear that there is a pattern of problems with IT systems in banks operating in Ireland.
“The Central Bank – as regulator of the banks – has a duty to interrogate and test the banks’ IT systems to ensure they are fit for purpose. It may well be the case that banks have under invested in their IT systems for years and the pattern of IT failures we have recently witnessed will continue. It is not sufficient for the Central Bank to rely on the banks testing their own systems. The Central Bank needs to acquire the expertise to rigorously test these IT systems to ensure that customers are fully protected and not left exposed as they have been too many times recently.
“The recovery of the Irish economy is dependent on having a modern, reliable, functioning banking system. Sound IT systems are an integral part of that banking system and this issue simply cannot go unaddressed”.