Could experienced IT contractors save the banks' blushes?
When banking security issues hit the news, there are usually far-reaching consequences especially when it comes to the impact any breaches have on customer confidence. RBS, NatWest and HSBC have all experienced the kinds of technological blunders which make headlines, prompting demands from an MP to appoint more IT experts to their boards.
Andrew Tyrie, the Chair of the Treasury Select Committee has apparently contacted the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulatory Authority with a letter that suggests a requirement for all high street banks to ensure that their boards include members who are IT savvy.
Having people with an understanding of IT systems overseeing decisions and being instrumental in improving services should be a priority, according to the Daily Telegraph. With IT failures appearing to occur every few months, it is vital that moves are made to minimise the disruption, confusion and distress that data breaches and IT weaknesses cause for the banks’ customers.
As well as individuals being affected, businesses suffer when banks’ systems prove insufficiently robust to protect the accounts of those who rely on them to keep their money safe. Mr Tyrie believes that many banks have IT systems which simply aren’t fit for purpose, meaning that there are inherent conduct and systemic risks.
The minister’s suggestion that someone, perhaps the current boss of the PRA, should position themselves as a leader who will be able to galvanise those who are involved in the process, such as agencies, regulators and possibly the tech firms who might be called upon to offer the benefit of their expertise.
Barclays may well lead the way, having announced that they will be splitting their IT operations into smaller units in order to limit the amount of damage that can occur by minimising the potential for errors to be transferred from one unit to another.
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