Deloitte to investigate BoE payments failure

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Deloitte has been appointed by the Bank of England to investigate the glitch in Britain’s payments system that caused delays for thousands of housing market transactions last month.

Deloitte’s review will investigate the causes of the systems outage, the effectiveness of the bank’s response and lessons learned from the issue. The full report will be published by the bank early next year, the Financial Times reports.

The report will look into why part of the Real Time Gross Settlement system, which handles about £575bn of payments every day between banks malfunctioned, leaving many home buyers and sellers unable to complete transactions on October 20th. The Chaps payment system temporarily went down in response. The glitch was resolved ten hours later that day. While working hours were extended to make sure that all payments were processed, some by hand, payments from housebuyers to sellers settled using Chaps were pushed to the back of the queue to prioritise the larger transactions between banks.

The BoE believes that one bank may have been taken off its system the weekend before the crash, as part of regular maintenance at weekends while markets are closed. New banks are usually added to the system at this point, and others are very occasionally removed.

The problem was discovered when some payments were not being processed early on Monday October 20th, which caused the BoE to pause RTGS to help resolve the issue, the FT reports.

The Bank of England managed to process all of the 142,759 payments submitted to its system before its extended deadline.

 

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