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Major banks apologise for technology faults

Two of the four major banks have issued apologies to customers after they experienced disruptive technology failures over the weekend.

Over the weekend, National Australia Bank (NAB) and the Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) both experienced issues with their services, potentially impacting thousands of customers.

According to NAB, at around 7.50am on Saturday (26 May), a power issue affecting the bank’s mainframe resulted in a systems failure affecting ATMs, EFTPOS, internet banking and mobile banking.

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The service also reportedly impacted telephone systems and customer contact centres.

Cindy Batchelor, executive general manager at NAB Business, said that an “incredibly rare event” emanating from a power issue resulted in a “series of failures” that were felt nationwide.

Ms Batchelor said: “I want to apologise to all of our customers who were impacted by the outage. We really want to ensure that we provide a reliable service to you, and… we failed to do that. For that, we are sincerely sorry.”

She added: “[I]t’s not something that we’re proud of. [On Saturday] we failed to actually deliver the services we aspire to deliver to our customers.”

While the bank has not yet released estimates of how many customers were affected, it is thought to be several thousand and impacted both personal and business customers.

The bank added that technicians were able to restore some services by around midday, but it wasn’t until 2.30pm (approximately five hours after the initial system failure) that the system was fully restored.

According to the NAB executive, the issue was not a security concern and is not believed to be an outside hack.

Ms Batchelor said: “With all of these things, we worked through systematically what the root cause of the problem was. So, we had our technicians on it from the time we found out there was an outage and we made sure that we continued to work that through as each hour progressed… So, for us we started where we thought the failure was — we worked that through — but it was a series of failures caused by a power issue that then brought down the mainframe.”

The bank has said that it will “absolutely” be compensating customers for their losses as a result of the issue.

“[I]f there was a loss [on Saturday morning] driven by the outage, yes, compensation will be provided to customers.

“So, we’ll work with each and every one of them to understand exactly what happened to that particular customer.”

The bank said that it was continually working to improve its technology and urged any customers impacted to notify the bank of any issues resulting from the outage.

CBA apologies for merchant terminal problem

Another issue affecting major bank customers over the weekend was one relating to CBA’s merchant terminals that connect to the Optus Network.

The issue was reportedly restored by Optus later in the day, with merchant terminals connecting as normal.

“We apologise for this issue and thank you for your patience,” the bank said via Twitter.

[Related: CBA grilled over interest rate charges]

Major banks apologise for technology faults
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Annie Kane

Annie Kane is the editor of The Adviser and Mortgage Business.

As well as writing about the Australian broking industry, the mortgage market, financial regulation, fintechs and the wider lending landscape – Annie is also the host of the Elite Broker and In Focus podcasts and The Adviser Live webcasts. 

Contact Annie at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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