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Bank of England: What's all this then, CHAPS? Review to get a grip on IT cockup

Important payments were processed manually

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The Bank of England has opened an investigation into the IT failure of its bank-to-bank payment processing system, which handles £277bn a day.

Last month the bank's Clearing House Automated Payments System (CHAPS) was temporarily suspended. This was due to "technical issue related to some routine maintenance" on its Real Time Gross Settlement System (RTGS), the processing system which underpins CHAPS.

CHAPS is a 30-year-old system, and last year handled it £70.1 trillion in payments - 92 per cent of all payments between banks.

The Bank of England was forced to process its most important payments manually after the 10-hour system outage.

The problem mainly impacted banks and corporations, but mortgage customers were also affected.

Accountancy firm Deloitte has been appointed to conduct the review.

"The review will investigate the causes of the incident, the effectiveness of the Bank’s response and provide lessons learned from the incident," said the bank in a statement.

The findings of the review will be presented to the Court of the Bank of England (its board of directors), which will publish the full report and the Bank of England’s response. This is planned for early 2015. ®

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