RBS to spend up to £150 million a year on cyber-security

Royal Bank of Scotland – which has acquired a raft of banks in recent years – has pledged to invest around £150 million a year to improve computer security and resiliency.

Last year, RBS earmarked £750 million for security and resiliency projects to be spent by the end of 2015 to address historical problems between merged systems which had caused several spectacular IT snafus.

Despite that investment, a massive systems failure on Wednesday showed that there was more work to be done, chief administration officer Simon McNamara said on Thursday.

Wednesday's failure reportedly prevented 600,000 customer transactions from being processed, affecting thousands of customers who didn't receive payments.

Critics say that the acquisition of so many disparate banks has led to a hodge-podge of IT systems, leaving the system vulnerable to outages and attacks.

Reuters reported that McNamara said, "Technology will on occasion fail. If and when that occurs, we need to ensure we can mask the impact on customers and recover as quickly and effectively as possible. It is important that it is handled well and competently.”

RBS was hit with £56 million in fines last year for failures in 2012 that disabled 6.5 million customer accounts.