Flaws found in payments system review

An external review into the risk management of the Irish electronic payments system following the failure of Ulster Bank last year has found that reviews weren’t carried out often enough.

The review, ordered by the Central Bank and carried out by an external consultancy company, BH Consulting, found there was too long a gap between the reviews of policy for the vital Irish payment service.

The practice had been to review the operation of the risks to the payments services every two years. The report found that this was flawed.

“Many members felt that this was too big a gap between assessments and it should be conducted on a more regular basis.

“The two-year gap results in a lack of familiarity with the process which then has to be relearned.

“In some cases this gap also results in staff no longer being involved in the process and new staff having to be trained and made familiar with the process,” the review found.

“Making the process occur more regularly would help ensure the assessment is in line with the latest threats and risks,” the report said.

The external consultants also recommended that there should be a standardised framework adopted across the sector that would be certified by auditors across the board.

CEO of Irish Payment Services Organisation, Pat McLoughlin, said that the body would implement the recommended changes by the end of the year.

“All of the actions that are recommended are accepted by the board and are factored in by the end of the year,” he said.

IPSO is recruiting an external firm to assist in driving the project implementation plan.

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