19 Jun 2018

Banks warned of increasing cyber threat by Bank of England

The Bank of England has warned banks they need to be better prepared for the increasing threat of cyber attacks and technology failure.

In his speech at the 20th Annual Operational Risk Europe conference in London, Lyndon Nelson, deputy CEO & Executive Director of the Bank of England’s Prudential Regulation Authority highlighted the threat posed by cyber criminals and technical failures and said UK banks should be “on a WAR footing: withstand; absorb; recover.”

Mr Nelson’s comments follow recent operational issues with TSB customers facing weeks of misery being frozen out of their accounts and subject to acts of fraud after the company suffered a major IT breakdown in April.

The beginning of June saw the Visa payment system suffer a system crash, which also left people unable to complete transactions leaving consumers and businesses in a state of chaos.

The Bank of England and the Financial Conduct Authority will publish a discussion paper outlining its expectations of banks when dealing with a cyber attack.

Mr Nelson used the speech to give his own perspective on what UK banks will be required to do. He said: “We will expect firms to set their own tolerances for key business services. These tolerances should be in the form of clear metrics indicating when a disruption would represent a threat to a firm, to consumers or to financial stability.

“We will expect firms to test their tolerances and demonstrate to their supervisors that they have concrete measures in place to deliver resilient services.

“We will further expect firms’ boards to play a key role as they develop their operational and cyber resilience strategies. This will include: the setting and reviewing of tolerance; promoting the development of management information; overseeing resilience programmes; and promoting and overseeing investments in technology, systems and people.”


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