Specialists in IT contracting will almost certainly find themselves eagerly sought after in the banking sector following further damning news concerning its creaking IT infrastructure.
We reported recently on claims by software provider Temenos that the banking sector will need to invest billions of pounds in upgrading IT systems if another cash machine debacle like the one that afflicted RBS is to be averted. Now the UK’s technology trade body, Intellect, has added its voice to the chorus of condemnation, declaring the country’s banking IT systems as “unfit for purpose.”
As reported in the Sunday Telegraph, Intellect will go public with its criticisms this week, blaming the banks for decades of inadequate IT investment – underinvestment which can have potentially catastrophic consequences. The body will present an in-depth report on IT shortcomings in the City, using the recent RBS/NatWest computer meltdown as a case example.
Ominously, the report states: “Within individual banks, poor infrastructure does not afford a timely and accurate view of ‘the whole’ of their operations and exposures. In effect, they do not know their own businesses well enough. Therefore it is impossible for the regulatory authorities to build a macro view of ‘the whole’ of the financial system”.
It will be difficult for the banks to ignore the growing tide of alarm about their IT systems. The RBS/NatWest incident, which affected eight million customers, was triggered by a software update that its computer system simply could not handle.
Many PAYE umbrella techies with expertise in the financial IT skills market took an imposed pay cut this year. They may be about to find themselves being treated rather more hospitably by the banks in the months ahead.