Treasury Select Committee chairman Andrew Tyrie pours scorn on HSBC after cyberattack

Emma Haslett
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Tyrie said HSBC's failure left the public "exposed"

Another day, another HSBC outage: the bank confirmed today it had been hit by a Denial of Service (DDoS) attack, which took out online banking operations for most of the day.

Now Treasury Select Committee chairman Andrew Tyrie has waded in with a comment that sounds distinctly like "I told you so".

“Only last week I wrote to the regulators to encourage them to take decisive action on [banks'] IT," he said.

"This work needs to be led by a single regulator, probably the PRA. It needs to bring together those most involved among regulators and government agencies, and to require improvement at the banks. The sooner this is put underway, the better.

“Episodes like today’s bring a great deal of uncertainty, and sometimes disruption and distress to customers.

“Bank IT systems just don’t seem to be up to the job. This leaves bank customers with a substandard service. Every bit as concerning, it could be leaving the banking system, and with it the economy, exposed to the risk of systemic failures.

“Banks should be competing for retail customers to provide the most reliable IT. But, for the most part, they don’t. Until more meaningful competition makes that possible, there is no alternative to regulators cajoling the banks.

“Incidents like these are unacceptably frequent, and sometimes serious. Until this is sorted out, the public will remain more exposed than necessary to the risks of IT banking failures, including delays in paying bills, an inability to obtain their own money, and unauthorised access to their accounts.”

Got that, HSBC?

It sounds distinctly like a similar comment Tyrie made in August, when HSBC suffered a similar outage.

"I will be writing to the chief executive of HSBC, to obtain an assurance that no customers will lose out from these failures and to ask what is going to be done to prevent a repetition," he said at a time. Not all that much, apparently...

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