back to article Bank of England takes a break from opining on banks' IT outages to 'fess up to forking needless cash on legacy kit, manual processes

The Bank of England (BoE) has admitted to MPs there is "significant" room for improvement in its IT systems, which cost about a third more than other central government organisations. The body came down hard on other financial institutions' poor IT practices following a spate of serious outages hit the UK in 2018, launching a …

  1. Paul Crawford Silver badge

    Hmm, so the BoE is spending about £40M per year more than expected handling £600bn a day and so far it has not done a TITSUP day like most banks? That seems value for money, even if the complaints about overt job description complication and excessive manual processes are true.

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Quite.

      "MPs called on the BoE to ensure the way it is working, systems and culture are brought up to date, which it said should include a revamp of its IT systems."

      What a pity they didn't pause to think things through.

      "In addition, it pointed to problems incorporating the Prudential Regulation Authority's systems when it absorbed the body in 2014; this led to duplicated applications and the need to integrate large datasets."

      And nobody noticed this migration happening. The BoE really needs to make efforts to get their data migrations into the media. They should ask TSB for advice.

    2. Cuddles Silver badge

      Indeed. Spend 1/3 more and get more than an order of magnitude improvement in reliability? The problem does not appear to be that the BoE is spending too much, but rather than everyone else is not spending enough.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    If only they knew the half of it...

    Costly vanity projects which disappear into the ether after a couple of years.

    Huge numbers of process managers who vastly outnumber technical staff these days. People who's entire job appears to attend meetings to justify their existence. Poor decision making by management when choosing products and strategy. Cutting staff to reduce headcount budget and replacing them with outsourcers at vastly inflated costs. This is just a few of the things the BoE wastes money on!

    The main thing they appear to be doing to try to reduce costs is by trying to force experienced technical staff to leave by giving 0% pay-rises to anyone who is earning even close to Market Rate for their job...

    That uptime is also only partly because of the money spent... It's mostly because poor suckers like me take pride in their work and end up working hundreds of hours of overtime to keep the lights on!

    Anon because the job market is dead at the moment and I don't fancy being fired ;)

    1. steelpillow Silver badge
      Pint

      Re: If only they knew the half of it...

      You have my commiserations - and my appreciation, I know many folks like you from another equally indispensable government department, also known for doing a lot more than average while spending only a little more.

      However, do be aware that such waste and idiocy are inevitable in any large organisation. The usual practice is to cut costs by getting rid of you folks, leaving only the waste and idiocy behind. Which is why I am now retired.

      Icon is the best I can offer you these days.

    2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: If only they knew the half of it...

      More or less standard operating practice at so many places.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: If only they knew the half of it...

      Mind you in return you do get the rather nice fully funded final salary pension scheme (RPI+ as I recall), private medical and use of the facilities at Roehampton.

      Still, I guess you could argue it all went downhill when the Bank sold their box at the Albert Hall and got rid of the discounted mortgages and the staff bank accounts (anyone fancy a cheque book with sort code 10-00-01?) Thanks for nothing Mervyn :-(

  3. SVV Silver badge

    legacy kit, manual processes

    Indeed, how else are the manufacturers of quill pens, inkwells and leather bound ledgers to be supported if their "systems" are upgraded?

    If you've ever visitd the place, you might get this gag, but thank goodness Threadneedle Street has not mutated into a Canary Wharf style bank (yet). Travelling between the two on the DLR is like a trip in the Tardis.

  4. EnviableOne Bronze badge

    or on the other hand

    Did Gov.uk stop to think that BoE are actually spending a correct proportion of budget on IT and it is they thta are underfunding their systems, leading to overworked staff, under developed systems and lack of co-ordiated response to anything?

  5. Twanky
    Facepalm

    Cloud first?

    So BoE is going to have to put their systems into the cloud? https://www.gov.uk/guidance/government-cloud-first-policy

    Should save a fortune!

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