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Wednesday 21 November 2018
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RBC glitch affects customers

FILE PHOTO: This May 28, 2018 file photo shows a long line of people waiting to use the ATM at RBC Royal Bank's (RBC) Park Street, Port of Spain branch on a day when few of RBC ATMs which were working that day. PHOTO BY SUREASH CHOLAI
FILE PHOTO: This May 28, 2018 file photo shows a long line of people waiting to use the ATM at RBC Royal Bank's (RBC) Park Street, Port of Spain branch on a day when few of RBC ATMs which were working that day. PHOTO BY SUREASH CHOLAI

UPDATE:

RBC Royal Bank (RBC) is denying that hacking was behind yesterday’s service disruption across TT.

Responding to Newsday’s questions, Ron McClure, head of operations and transformation, Caribbean Banking, at RBC said, “This system disruption was not the result of any external hacking efforts. Any rumours or speculation about hacking are completely without merit. All RBC systems have been and continue to remain secure.”

RBC customers were limited in their ability to do business for much of the day, including online and mobile banking, while ATM use was limited to withdrawals.

McClure said customers were, however, “able to perform most but not all transactions at RBC branches, although as transactions required more manual intervention, this resulted in slower-than-usual service. With the increased number of clients using the branch and the slower transaction time, this resulted in lines forming at most locations.”

Speaking with Newsday shortly before noon, a frustrated customer said he only knew there was a problem when he trieed to cash a cheque at the bank’s Arima branch and found himself in a long line of people.

“You couldn’t move without bumping into someone, the bank was that full. At one point, people were real getting on. A staff member said when they tried to log into the system this morning, they couldn’t, so now they are doing what they can (manually).

“The ATM isn’t working and they can’t take any deposits. The IT department is working on it but they’re not sure how long till it’s back online.
“I have to wait in line too because I only have $4 to my name.”

The customer also said he heard the problem might have been the result of hacking.
Shortly after 1.30 pm yesterday, he again contacted Newsday, this time with some good news. Although the problem had not yet been resolved, “They took my cheque and gave me a portion of its value in cash, so I could go about my business. They said they would deposit the cheque in my account as soon as the system is fixed.”

The problem was resolved by 4 pm and service restored across the network and all channels.
Yesterday’s outage also affected RBC customers in Antigua, Aruba, Curaçao and St. Maarten.
McClure said a “database indexing process” caused yesterday’s problems, which, in TT’s case, was part of “a series of outages across our operating platform” over the last few days.

“The outages have been a perfect storm of unfortunate events. The first series was caused by some residual impacts from our system upgrade this past weekend. This was resolved but was followed by some cabling and bandwidth issues in our network. This was also resolved and then a database indexing process caused additional outages today (Thursday). Our RBC team has worked diligently to identify and address these issues and we can confirm that service has now been restored across the network and all channels,” McClure said.

Clearing the backlog of transactions was expected to take the rest of the day, during which time McClure said clients might see recent transactions had not been posted and online balances might not reflect the current state of the account.

“We understand these outages have inconvenienced our clients and we apologise for this disruption. Our immediate and ongoing focus has been to restore the availability of all RBC services to our clients and ensure they can rely on RBC to meet their financial needs,” McClure told Newsday.

ORIGINAL STORY:

RBC Royal Bank (RBC) is denying that hacking was behind today's service disruption across TT.

Responding to Newsday's questions, Ron McClure, head of operations and transformation, Caribbean Banking, at RBC said, "This system disruption was not the result of any external hacking efforts. Any rumours or speculation about hacking are completely without merit. All RBC systems have been and continue to remain secure."

RBC customers were limited in their ability to do business for much of the day, including online and mobile banking, while ATM use was limited to withdrawals.

McClure said customers were, however, "able to perform most but not all transactions at RBC branches, although as transactions required more manual intervention, this resulted in slower-than-usual service. With the increased number of clients using the branch and the slower transaction time, this resulted in lines forming at most locations."

Speaking with Newsday shortly before noon, a frustrated customer said he only knew there was a problem when he trieed to cash a cheque at the bank's Arima branch and found himself in a long line of people.

"You couldn't move without bumping into someone, the bank was that full. At one point, people were real getting on. A staff member said when they tried to log into the system this morning, they couldn't, so now they are doing what they can (manually).

The problem was resolved by 4 pm and service restored across the network and all channels.

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