MPs have launched an inquiry into IT failures at some of Britain’s biggest banks following a number of damaging meltdowns.
The Treasury Committee, chaired by Nicky Morgan MP, will seek to establish both the cause of the problems and how regulators can better-equip themselves to hold organisations to account.
MPs will also investigate how consumers have been affected by previous IT meltdowns while assessing the potential impact of any future issues.
Morgan said the Committee will examine the sector’s ability to both guard against service disruptions and how to rectify issues, should they occur.
“The number of IT failures at banks and other financial institutions in recent years is astonishing,” she commented.
“Millions of customers have been affected by the uncertainty and disruption caused by failures of banking IT systems.”
Morgan also suggested that, as consumers continually drift toward online services, there is a growing expectation to ensure both easy access and increased security.
“Measly apologies and hollow words from financial services institutions will not suffice when customers aren’t able to access their own money and face delays in paying bills,” she said.
In the past year, millions of consumers in the UK have been affected by problems. The TSB migration, in particular, caused widespread confusion and inconvenience to thousands of customers.
This migration disaster was not been an isolated issue in 2018, however, with Barclays and the Royal Bank of Scotland also experiencing problems.
UK consumers were also affected when Visa’s card network crashed in June.
As consumers increasingly rely on technology to control their cash, future IT meltdowns and lockouts could have disastrous effects for people across the country, Morgan explained.
She said: “As bank branches close and customers are ushered towards online services, the availability of those services is vital.”
A report published by the Financial Conduct Authority in June underlined the damaging effects that bank closures are having upon UK consumers – with people in rural areas experiencing great difficulty when accessing services.