The Royal Bank of Scotland will invest £150m a year to improve resilience of its computer system after a major IT failure affected thousands of customers this week.
As a result of the mishap that took place on Wednesday, about 600,000 transactions were left unprocessed leaving people waiting for wages and failing to pay their rents.
Despite the widespread nature of the problem, RBS said its earlier investments in IT technology prevented the impact spreading any wider.
"Technology will, on occasion, fail. If and when that occurs, we need to ensure we can mask the impact on customers and recover as quickly and effectively as possible,” said RBS’s Chief Administration Officer Simon McNamara. “It is important that it is handled well and competently."
This week’s IT collapse was not the first incident for RBS in recent years. In March 2013, the bank’s customers were unable to withdraw money from ATMs due to a computer failure and a system meltdown a year earlier resulted in 6.5 million customers being unable to make or receive payments for days.
The 2012 breakdown cost the bank £175m plus an additional £56m fine from the UK’s financial regulator.
To make sure the situation would not happen again, RBS said last year it was investing £750m into the security and resilience of its IT systems. However, as this week’s incident revealed, the bank still has some work to do.
McNamara said the investment already in place made the bank better placed to deal with the latest failure. "It is not feasible to have 100 per cent faultless systems. We will have issues. How we respond to those issues, how we minimise them and how we fix them, is crucial," he said.
Some industry sources say RBS's systems are outdated and made up of a complex patchwork of systems after dozens of acquisitions.
RBS said the latest problem was resolved on Friday morning, with all accounts being updated.