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Bank of England payment system hit by outage

Matthew Finnegan | Oct. 23, 2014
'Technical issue' with Real Time Gross Settlement (RTGS) platform now fixed.

The Bank of England's payment system for large value transfers such as house purchases has been taken offline due a 'technical issue'.

The Real Time Gross Settlement (RTGS) platform suffered an outage on Monday morning, which the Bank of England is currently attempting to resolve. It said it has paused settlements while the situation is fixed.

"We are working to address this issue as quickly as possible, and restart the RTGS payment system in a controlled manner," the bank said in a statement.

"The most important payments are being made manually and we can reassure the public that all payments made today will be processed."

The problems are said to be related to routine maintenance on the RTGS system which underpins CHAPS (Clearing House Automated Payments System) electronic payments. The CHAPS system was responsible for processing over £70 trillion last year, and is used by 5,000 financial institutions.

It is believed that the outage occured following a planned software update to the RTGS system over the weekend, and was first noticed soon after the system is supposed to come online at 6am.

CHAPS said in a separate statement that it is working with the Bank of England to fix the technical problems, and will extend its operating hours - typically between 6am-4pm - to ensure that it can process delayed settlements.

 

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