* Systems failure caused disruption to millions last year
* RBS says failure unacceptable, to invest in improvements
LONDON, April 9 Britain's financial watchdog is
investigating last year's technology failures at state-backed
Royal Bank of Scotland, the new regulator said on
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), which this month took
over the supervision of standards of financial firms, said it
had started an enforcement investigation into the IT failures at
RBS that affected millions of customers in June and July.
The FCA said it would reach its conclusions in due course
and decide whether enforcement action should be taken.
RBS, 82 percent-owned by the government said it would work
with regulators in Britain and Ireland to improve its services.
"Last summer's IT failure was unacceptable. We have already
made significant improvements and over the next three years will
invest hundreds of millions in our systems," the bank said.
The bank struggled last year to get on top of a huge backlog
of failed payments after a software upgrade went wrong,
resulting in it being unable to process payments for its
NatWest, RBS and Ulster Bank customers.
The problems cost RBS 175 million pounds ($267 million) to
rectify and Chief Executive Stephen Hester chose to waive his
2012 bonus to appease customers.
Fears about the resilience of RBS's computer systems
returned to the fore last month when it suffered another failure
which left customers unable to process payments.
The FCA replaced the 11-year-old Financial Services
Authority as the government ended a policy of "light-touch"
regulation that failed to avert the 2007-9 financial crisis.
The FSA had rarely disclosed any enforcement investigations
before they were resolved.