The Bank of England (BoE) experienced a 10-hour meltdown of CHAPS, one of its key payments systems on 20 October 2014, due to the BoE temporarily pausing the Real Time Gross Settlement payment system to resolve a technical issue. This prevented UK borrowers from accessing a mortgage and delayed hundreds of billions worth of deals. The BoE said it will be carrying out a through, independent review of the causes of the disruption, which will cover the causes of the incident, the effectiveness of BoE’s response and the lessons learned for future contingency plans.

What this means for you

The whole economy depends on a reliable payment system. The effect of such a serious episode on one of the central pillars of the UK’s payment infrastructure was especially significant on a time-sensitive payment system that settles large deals. The cause of such a breakdown must be found and addressed in order for payment service users to regain confidence in the system.