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Online Banking Outage Root Cause Assessment Completed

November 29, 2018

Vancity’s Board of Directors would like to share an update with members about the online banking service outage that took place October 3-6, 2018.

“When the outage occurred, I committed directly to you – our members – that the Board would provide oversight to a review process of the systems involved to determine exactly what happened,” said Board Chair Anita Braha. “Your Board, as promised, oversaw that process and I am pleased today to share with you the results of that work.”

Vancity hired a world-leading IT services provider with significant expertise in financial data processing, to review the outage. Its review concluded:

  • The issue was not caused by hardware issues or by malicious, intentional or unauthorized access;
  • The root cause of the event was determined to be an issue with a third-party system;
  • The issue with this system could not have been known to anyone at Vancity before the outage occurred;
  • The review found the recovery actions by Vancity at the time of the outage to be reasonable given the need to ensure all data was tested and verified before the system could be brought back online.

Vancity has taken measures to remove the issue and ensure it does not pose any risk to Vancity’s IT systems going forward. The full report cannot be shared because releasing it publicly would reveal confidential details about Vancity’s systems that could pose a significant risk to Vancity’s IT security.

“The reviewer is an internationally-recognized firm and their expertise in this area has been invaluable,” said Anita. “Given the depth of the review, I am confident in the results.”

To focus Board oversight of the process, a special committee of the Board was created to review this work. The special committee was made up of: Board Chair Anita Braha; Vice Chair of the Board, Lily Grewal; Chair of Risk Committee, Jan O’Brien; Chair of Audit Committee, Teresa Conway; and Chair of Governance Committee, Rita Parikh.

Thanking the Board for its role in overseeing the process, Vancity President and CEO Tamara Vrooman welcomed the reviewer’s report.

“I want to thank our IT teams for this work, as well as each and every one of our employees for repeatedly going above and beyond to make it right for our members, both during and after the service outage,” said Tamara. “We put our members first and did so the Vancity way.”