Singapore Says 2.5m Transactions Failed Amid Data Center Disruption

DBS and Citigroup faced widespread disruption during a data center outage on October 14.

Bloomberg News

November 6, 2023

1 Min Read
Singapore Says 2.5m Transactions Failed in DBS, Citi Outage
Image: Bloomberg

(Bloomberg) -- About 2.5 million Singapore payment and ATM transactions couldn’t be completed during DBS Group Holdings and Citigroup’s recent outage, causing widespread inconvenience to the city-state’s population of almost 6 million.

Up to 810,000 attempts to access both digital banking platforms were estimated to have failed during the October 14 disruption due to a data center malfunction, Minister of State Alvin Tan said in response to parliamentary questions Monday. Services had only fully recovered in the early hours of Oct. 15.

DBS and Citibank both faced technical issues in recovering their systems despite having activated their IT disaster recovery and business continuity plans, Tan said. Specific issues that led to the delays didn’t surface during their annual tests, the minister said.

The Monetary Authority of Singapore last week banned DBS from buying new business ventures for six months, after it had five banking service outages in the last eight months. The lender was also blocked from paring its local branch and ATM network during that time.

The central bank has also raised the maximum fine amount to S$1 million ($740,200) next year from the current S$100,000 if financial institutions fail to meet technology risk management requirements. 

The government will also study how to further strengthen the security and resilience of data centers, where lapses could result in a significant impact, Tan said.

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