The European Central Bank blamed a software defect for a disruption to the region’s main wholesale payment system last week that left banks unable to process transactions and securities trades for almost 11 hours.
The “major incident” took place at about 2:40 p.m. on Friday, according to the ECB. After a backup system failed, commercial banks couldn’t process transactions through about 1:20 a.m. the following morning. While European businesses and individuals could continue to make payments, the money wasn’t landing where it should. The glitch also affected a parallel ECB system, Target2-Securities, which helps to process more than €1 trillion in bond and stock trades each day across the region. While the settlement of securities transactions remained available, funds couldn’t be transferred to or from the system for several hours, the ECB said.