Online outage for several hours shakes operations at Britain’s Lloyds Banking Group

By: Michael Harris
Michael Harris
Specialising in economics by academia, with a passion for financial trading, Michael Harris has been a regular contributor to… read more.
on Jan 2, 2020
Updated: Apr 28, 2020
  • Lloyds Banking Group's online services go down on New Year's day for 8 hours.
  • Online outage frustrated the customers and shook operations at the bank.
  • The FCA reported a 138% increase in IT failures in 2018.
  • The Treasury committee stated that the number of IT failures for banks is "unacceptable".

Britain’s Lloyds Banking Group (LLOY.L) faced several hours of online outage on New Year’s Day, leaving its customers unable to access their accounts on the public holiday.

The connectivity issue took authorities several hours to resolve, and customers for Lloyds, Halifax, and Bank of Scotland were left disabled from accessing their bank accounts via the website or the mobile application. The connection was back by midday, though, after several distressing hours for customers.

Customers Outraged As Lloyds Bank Faced Nearly 8 Hours of Internet Outage

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As the technical stuff focused on troubleshooting the issue, customers resorted to using telephone banking services and cash machines since all bank branches were closed due to the holiday. Although the failure was said to be due to an internal issue, and not a cyber-attack, it still led to a very disappointing start to the new year for the bank’s customers.

One customer remarked that Lloyds was taking the bank holiday a “little too seriously”. Meanwhile, social media was aflame with complaints about the untimely breakdown, particularly because many direct debits are due on Thursday.

Sources from the stock market reported the Lloyds share prices to have responded minimally to the outage. The overall performance for the banking group last year remained largely upbeat in the stock market. While the stock opened at 51.20 GBX in January 2019, it ended the year a little over 62 GBX. The $44.48 billion company printed a yearly high of 67.25 GBX in 2019. 48.68 GBX seen in August 2019 was the lowest for the stock last year.

Disruption In Online Service Is A Common Problem For Britain’s Banks

Breaks in online services is a common problem in Britain, and regulators warned banks last month that they must resolve this disruption in service more swiftly. The Treasury committee stated that the number of IT failures for banks was “unacceptable”.

In 2018, TSB – a subsidiary of Spain’s Sabadell (SABE.MC) – also saw weeks of outage due to an IT failure. It was one of the worst disruptions in Britain’s banking history and led to nearly 2 million people left unable to access their accounts. Investigations into the source of TSB’s outage are still ongoing. Owing to excessive pressure from the regulatory authorities and the parliament itself, CEO Paul Pester of TSB was also forced to step down.  

The FCA reported a 138% increase in IT failures in 2018, and the trend of outages looks set to continue in 2020 as well, starting with the Lloyds Bank disruption.

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