Bank of England tells banks to speed up recovery from outages

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Pedestrians walk past the Bank of England in London March 5, 2015. REUTERS/Suzanne Plunkett

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LONDON, April 28 (Reuters) - Britain's banks must speed up their recovery from outages which disrupt service for customers to avoid undermining public confidence in the financial sector, the Bank of England said on Thursday.

The BoE has been rolling out new requirements on so-called operational resilience which required banks to spell out by the end of last month how quickly they could recover from an outage.

Banks now have until the end of March 2025 to prove they can recover within these time periods.

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"However, while clear progress has been made, there is still distance to travel to a point where firms across the sector reach the level of operational resilience we expect to see," David Bailey, BoE executive director for banks supervision, told an event held by UK Finance, Britain's banking industry body.

"This has been highlighted by a variety of operational outages still occurring frequently, such as payment outages, app and website failures, and incidents at third party providers," Bailey said.

But the range of 'impact tolerances' or the amount of time which banks say they would need to recover from an outage "seems surprisingly wide", he said.

"Therefore, as we go about our supervisory reviews in the coming year, our teams will be pushing firms to justify their judgements and we will undertake more detailed comparisons across peer groups," Bailey said.

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Reporting by Huw Jones Editing by Tomasz Janowski

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