Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) suffered a mass power failure at its main data centre during routine maintenance of its fire control systems.
The interruption to the central bank’s primary data centre lasted three hours, severely affecting payment systems and fixed phone lines.
Sydney-based RBA confirmed the issue and updated its official Twitter feed throughout the issue, assuring customers that the bank was working to fix the issue but did not give a timeframe on when that would be.
Australia lending service Westpac Banking Corp spoke to Reuters detailing the severity of the outage which had affected all financial institutions across Australia but did not provide further information.
An RBA spokeswoman relayed that: “There have been disruptions to the payment system but normal service is gradually being restored. It’s affected all the payment services.”
Questions remain unanswered on the status of the Reserve Bank Information and Transfer System (RITS), Australia’s high-value settlement system that allows RBA to settle payments on a real-time gross settlement basis.
RBA’s payment system includes clearing and settlement for cards, cash, cheques and electronic funds transfers.
In the event of a delay to the restoration of services, RBA said it would be prepared to work through the night to settle payments.
“Routine maintenance of the Bank’s fire control systems caused an interruption of power to the Bank’s main data centre,” RBA said in a brief statement. “The Bank’s is in the process of re-establishing full services.”
A spokesman for lender Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Ltd said in an email that the bank was aware of the outage but that the RBA had since restored services, which were now “operating normally”.
RBA later said that its real-time payment system – the New Payments Platform – was working as normal and processing payments.
RBA confirmed that corporate and retail customers were once again able to make and receive payments.