Rumours flying about Westpac systems problem

I have heard now from several of my old banking sources that yesterday Westpac had a severe issue with its processing, particularly with Internet and Telephone Banking systems, these would include presumably their Front-End Processors (tech term, look it up) for the ATM network.

My sources tell me that the Governments own banker is facing a second day of being out of balance and that many internet processed payments simply failed to be processed last night and that balances of customer accounts are showing yesterdays balance.

Today being Thursday will pose a huge problem for Westpac as a vast number of benefit payments go through on Thursday as do company wage runs.

The other problem Westpac has is that they will be in breach of the law by not balancing and by not balancing it is likely that other banks aren’t balancing wither with Westpac and the Reserve Bank.

Trying to confirm through other tech sources and will keep you updated.

UPDATE: Westpac spinning like a top, but are telling other banks that they will cover them, based on pro-rata balances oulled from their arse based on normal Wednesday/December data-flows. Right now I think Westpac is probably in breach of its banking covenants with the Reserve Bank and the NZ banking system is at risk as it is a house of inter-linked cards waiting to fall including settlement between payment providers for EFT-POS.

UPDATE 2: High probability that Westpac customers won’t be able to use other bank ATM’s as Westpac is unable to “stand-in” for offline transactions same goes for EFT-POS. Would Westpac please advise me via email [email protected] if they are experiencing problems.

UPDATE 3: Looking like a change management issue rather than hardware issue, so IBM and HP/Tandem will be breathing a sigh of relief. Seems it may be related to a change to apply interest rate changes on Tuesday night that sat in the system until something triggered a looping process at about 1pm yesterday afternoon black-holing their processors. Several roll-backs have failed. Westpac official line is the “Clark Defense”, Nothing to see here, move along.


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  • mediatart

    Arent the banking systems all processed by Databank. yes they would have their own hardware for internet banking and loans and internal systems, but its all done with the other major banks.

    But have you noticed BNZ internet banking is like the worlds slowest . Seems the servers are in Australia so we kiwis crawl since they are too cheap to buy the dedicated bandwidth.

  • Databank got renamed years ago to EDS when EDS bought it. national Bank pulled out in 1998, Westpac in 1999 i think whenthey took processing in house, ASB was never part of Databank only the big four were shareholders.

    ANZ have been pprocessing Australia for a couple of years now so that possibly leaves BNZ as processing at EDS, but I can't confirm that.

  • mediatart

    Westpac give a message there is a processing delay when you login for online banking. No trouble with my accounts , branch transaction on Tuesday Ok, Eftpos yesterday Ok.

  • Peter

    From what I understand, all of the trading banks are requried by RBNZ to do their NZ-based accounts’ processing in NZ – or at least be able to run in NZ.

    ANZ got slapped by RBNZ when RBNZ found out that ANZ were embarked upon a project to entirely move their processing to Australia.

    The inter-bank settlement system is run by RBNZ.

    More than you probably want to know about the settlement system and liquidity

  • PaulL

    Worked on the project for FEP at NBNZ. They were still on databank back then, but that was 94, and plans were in place to migrate.

  • They did migrate, I worked on that, and changed to Stratus FEP, with the merger with ANZ I understand they are now back on HP/Tandem for FEP

    Shame because those Stratus machines were a piece of work.

  • nigel201065

    So this is why an online payment made on wed at 8.00am did not go out of my account until 7.38am thus
    The strange thing is I checked the account on thus at mid day and it still showed it had not gone out and went direct to the supplier and tried to use eftpos only to be declined but my txt balance still showed the payment hadn’t gone through
    It’s another trip back to the supplier today

  • hzklbs

    BNZ do their own processing, too. Westpac still use EDS (successor to Databank, now part of the HP empire) to maintain their core processing system, but online services (ATMs, telebanking) maintained by Westpac. Westpac processing done on their own machines, located in EDS Federal St premises, Auckland

  • mediatart

    Funny that the HP/EDS/Databank was the original 'outsourcing' yet the banks have taken some systems in house which may then be outsourced again with different levels. such as 'our system in your datacentre.'
    And the support for the software is then split as well. OS for the datacentre , applications by the bank
    Then you get to the branches and offices where the terminals, printers etc are probably someone elses hardware but the bank supports the software, but via India ??
    Then you start allover with the comms links and hardware/sofware and so on

    The people running this must have their hair on fire on regular occasions