Failed Automated Software Caused RBS/Natwest Banking System Crash

By Gary Cutlack on at

The complete crash of RBS and Natwest's payment system for four days last week was caused by a glitch in an automated batch processing tool, which is a rather mundane explanation for the banks' complete failure to register payments last week.

According to sources speaking to The Register, the RBS group uses automated batch software called CA-7, which routinely carries out the sort of tasks long since deemed too tedious for humans and delegated instead to our computer friends.

This batch tool is believed to be the reason for the massive system glitch that stopped payments showing in the accounts of RBS, Natwest and Ulster Bank customers, with the failure to process the "thousands of batch jobs" it undertakes overnight blamed for the embarrassing banking crunch.

The payments problem was first acknowledged by RBS on June 21st, when it said the problem was "strictly of a technical nature." It then rumbled on for the rest of the week, resulting in branches staying open late and being authorised to advance customers extra cash to cover shortfalls.

RBS says there's still a backlog of payments to be worked through, with the hope being that customers will see all their money showing up in the right account by the end of today. [The Register]