Bank of England orders Visa to hire PwC after IT error

18 March 2019

Multinational financial services corporation Visa has been instructed to hire consultants to help complete the recommendations of an independent review, following an IT outage that caused chaos in 2018. The Bank of England has ordered Visa to appoint PwC to help assess Visa Europe’s progress in its implementation of Threadneedle Street’s recommendations.

In June 2018, Visa’s payment system was struck down by a hardware failure, impacting millions of customers across the UK and the rest of Europe. People were left unable to pay for goods and services across the continent, while the outage was not associated with any unauthorised access or cyber-attack.

At the time, the Bank of England immediately contacted Visa to find out when the system would be back up and running. The unprecedented crash eventually led to Threadneedle Street implementing an extended investigation into the IT systems of financial companies. Ultimately, in response to a jump in frequency and severity of the incidents, the Bank of England's Financial Policy Committee put together a new framework around resilience and risk, setting minimum service levels to keep the economy ticking in the event of a plausible disruption.

Bank of England orders Visa to hire PwC after IT error

Now, the central bank of the UK said that it will use statutory powers to direct Visa to fully implement its recommendation of an independent review, which found that it was unprepared for the failure and failed to communicate effectively with those impacted. Part of this includes requiring Visa to appoint PwC to “assess Visa Europe’s progress in implementing these recommendations”. PwC will provide a final report to the Bank later this year assessing the progress in the implementation of each recommendation.

The Bank of England said the incident had the potential to affect confidence in the financial system; however, it also acknowledged that Visa has accepted all of the requirements, and appears committed to implementing them. Visa has previously stated that the issue was caused by a “very rare partial failure” of a switch in one of its data centres, meaning back-up centres could not automatically process all transactions. It has since fixed the issue, while arguing it was taking “all necessary steps” to prevent the failure from happening again.

The action taken by the Bank of England does not imply a breach of a regulatory requirement, or constitute an enforcement action. The reforms it has backed to be carried out were initially devised by PwC’s fellow Big Four member EY.


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Capgemini provides IT services for BAE Systems Maritime-Submarines

24 April 2019

BAE Systems Maritime-Submarines has confirmed a five-year contract with Capgemini to take over the provision of a spectrum of IT services in the UK. The deal will help BAE Systems Maritime-Submarines reduce the cost of IT from its base in Barrow-in-Furness in Cumbria.

Since the firm’s UK profits were found to have halved in 2018, Capgemini has been working to improve its offering and attract new clients. In the summer, the global IT services consultancy combined a number of its creative wings to form Capgemini Invent, while a deal with Amazon Web Services enabled the firm to improve its cost-saving digital offering to clients looking for IT outsourcing work.

In the last year, Capgemini has subsequently won a series of contracts leveraging its IT delivery services on behalf of a variety of entities. The firm partnered with Statoil to deliver digital innovation across the company, as well as taking a role to innovate the fan experience of the Rugby World Cup 7s tournament, and replacing Atos as the IT services provider of McDonald’s

Capgemini provides IT services for BAE Systems Maritime-Submarines

Now, the firm has continued this surge of new business with the confirmation of a partnership with BAE Systems, which will see Capgemini collaborate on a key defence contract. Capgemini’s five-year contract with BAE Systems Maritime-Submarines will see Capgemini take over the provision of a spectrum of IT services for the BAE wing in the UK, including service orchestration, networking, hosting, end-user computing, DevOps, reporting and analytics, automation, and a digital service desk.

BAE Systems has been looking to improve its bottom line in the UK in recent years, and the move is aimed at transforming its Maritime-Submarines business IT delivery, allowing the company to take advantage of innovative digital technologies, create better user experiences, ensure high service availability, and reduce the cost of IT, from its base in Barrow-in-Furness in Cumbria. Capgemini’s IT solution was selected because of its ability to support the company’s evolving requirements, including the need to further enhance the responsiveness of the IT service, and effectiveness and agility of the delivery model.

Stephen Cole, CIO, BAE Systems Submarines, said, “As we embarked on this critical programme for our Submarines business that will deliver improved agile digital services, world-class service transformation and orchestration capabilities underpinned by very strong references were essential in our selection process. We are confident that Capgemini met these requirements and is the right partner for us. The team really understands where we are trying to get to as a business and its collaborative approach alongside its commitment to developing skills in the local area were paramount to our decision.”

Paul Margetts, Managing Director, UK Business Unit at Capgemini, added, “We are delighted to expand upon our business relationship with BAE Systems. Having worked with the company over the past four years, we have seen the tremendous opportunities for change that this programme presents and are hugely excited to be part of the journey at BAE Systems Maritime-Submarines, to help the company make a step change and satisfy new business requirements. We also look forward to increasing our involvement with the local North West community and Barrow in particular.”