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Equinix data centre outage disrupts DBS, Citibank, and redONE services

Written by Thu 19 Oct 2023

DBS Bank, Citibank, and redONE services in Singapore experienced an outage for several hours due to a technical issue with the cooling system at an Equinix data centre. 

In a statement, Equinix said the outage occurred after a planned system upgrade at one of the company’s Singapore data centres. 

“This raised the temperatures in some of the halls in the data centre and impacted some customers’ operations,” said a spokesperson to Channel News Asia. 

The DBS services disrupted included DBS/POSB digibank, DBS PayLah! and ATM banking. Citibank experienced disruption to use of Citi Credit Cards, PayNow, and investments via the Citi mobile app or Citibank Online. 

The issue has since been resolved and Equinix said it is in contact with affected clients including the mobile service provider redONE. 

On 14 October, the mobile service provider said the company started receiving feedback from subscribers. Users said they were experiencing some issues with their network service, including issues with data, call, and SMS services. 

“Our engineers were activated and went on-site immediately to troubleshoot and rectify the issue and begin the restoration process. However, the process took longer than what was initially expected,” said redONE in a Facebook statement. 

Mobile services were fully restored at 1am on 15 October 2023. 

“We recognise and sincerely apologise for the extreme inconvenience caused by this service outage in this digital age, and we are working with our vendors to have a better contingency plan in place to prevent the same thing from happening again,” said redONE. 

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) said that it was conducting its own preliminary investigation into the outage. 

DBS Banks Another Outage 

This is not the only outage DBS Bank has experienced in the past year, although past issues appear unrelated to the latest Equinix disruption. 

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) imposed DBS Bank with an additional capital requirement, following the widespread unavailability of DBS Bank’s digital banking services on 29 March 2023 and a subsequent disruption to its digital banking and ATM services on 5 May 2023. 

Together with the additional capital requirement imposed on DBS in February 2022, this translated to approximately £960 billion ($1.1 billion) in total additional regulatory capital. 

MAS also convened a Special Board Committee to oversee a full review of the bank’s IT resilience, to be performed by an independent external expert. 

“MAS had then directed DBS Bank to conduct a comprehensive review, including an assessment of the adequacy of management oversight, staff competencies, operational processes, system resiliency, and architecture design for its digital banking services,” said MAS in a statement. 

MAS also required DBS Bank to take immediate steps to improve the resiliency and recoverability of its existing system in order to minimise disruption of its services to its customers. 

“DBS Bank has fallen short of MAS’ expectations for banks to deliver reliable services to their customers. The repeated inconvenience caused to the public is unacceptable… DBS Bank must spare no effort in dealing with the underlying issues leading to these disruptions,” said Ms Ho Hern Shin, Deputy Managing Director (Financial Supervision) at MAS.

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Written by Thu 19 Oct 2023

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