Hire more IT-savvy board directors, banks told

The IT meltdowns at RBS, NatWest and most recently HSBC warrant all high-street banks to appoint more computer-savvy individuals to their boards, an influential MP is demanding.

Andrew Tyrie, chair of the Treasury Select Committee, reportedly made the demand in a letter he wrote to the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulatory Authority.

He told the City regulators that more directors with IT and systems know-how should sit on banks’ boards, so they can oversee action and improve service, reported the Daily Telegraph.

“Every few months we have yet another IT failure at a major bank. These IT blunders and weaknesses are exposing millions of people to uncertainty, disruption and sometimes distress.

“Businesses suffer, too. We can’t carry on like this,” Mr Tyrie wrote, adding: “Bank IT systems don’t appear to be up to the job. This brings with it not just conduct risk, but also systemic risk.”

He wants “someone” (such as the PRA’s current boss) to take on a new leadership role, and orchestrate “those most involved” – regulators, agencies and, presumably, tech firms.

Meanwhile, Barclays has said that its IT operations will be splitting up into smaller, self-contained units, in the hope that a glitch in one part of the bank will not affect other divisions.

Jan 26, 2016