Customers of Lloyds Bank, Halifax, RBS and NatWest have again felt the full effects of an online glitch after money disappeared from their accounts on payday and ahead of the Bank Holiday weekend. Some also reported being unable to log on to internet banking or mobile apps.
Friday’s end of month outage is one in a long line of problems various banks have had with IT systems over the years. For CAST, a global leader in software measurement and analysis, this issue faced by UK banks is a fundamental lack of urgency around addressing software code issues at a structural level. Too often such systems are patchwork quilts of code fragments of upgrades and partial code fixes. This means they cannot hope to protect their core banking systems against glitches.
Very few, if any, employees fully understand the complexities of core banking systems and there are poor controls for development teams who need to work on these systems constantly to offer new products and services. Compounding this is the fact many banks outsource the maintenance and development to third parties with little in the way of checking software structure, on the way in, or out. It’s a recipe for failure.
Lev Lesokhin, SVP Strategy & Analytics, from CAST, says, “We had conversations about structural quality with many of the major UK banks recently and disappointingly they said they just didn’t care.”