Inexperienced Indian tech operative’s blunder led to RBS banking meltdown

A serious error committed by an “inexperienced operative” caused the IT meltdown which crippled the RBS banks last week, a source familiar with the matter has told The Register.Job adverts show that at least some of the team responsible for the blunder were recruited earlier this year in India following IT job cuts at RBS in the UK.

Following our post RBS computer glitch- a disaster waiting to happen that a bungled update to CA-7 batch processing software used by RBS lay behind the collapse, further details have emerged.

According to a source who worked at RBS for several years, an inexperienced operative made a major error while performing the relatively routine task of backing out of an upgrade to the CA-7 tool.

It is normal to find that a software update has caused a problem; IT staff expect to back out in such cases.

But in the process of backing out a major blunder was committed. It was this error which made the task of restoring services so prolonged:

That created a large backlog as all the wiped information had to be re-inputted to the system and reprocessed.

A complicated legacy mainframe system at RBS and a team inexperienced in its quirks made the problem harder to fix.

CA Technologies – the makers of the CA-7 software at the heart of the snarl-up – are helping RBS to fix the disaster that has affected 16.9 million UK bank accounts.

The batch scheduling tool CA-7 is widely used and generally considered to be very reliable, so it appears that the error – that meant millions of accounts have registered incorrect balances for many days – sprang from the oversight of the technology at RBS.