Outage hits Bank of England payment transfers.
THE Bank of England's system for transferring payments between commercial banks - including for house purchases - was hit by a technical outage yesterday.
The central bank said computerised payments on its Real Time Gross Settlement Payment System (RTGS) were suspended at around 6am after a "technical issue" was discovered following weekend routine maintenance.
Its Chaps (Clearing House Automated Payment System), under which same-day electronic payments for house purchases are carried out, has been affected by the failure.
The Bank said the most important payments in the wider RTGS system, which is understood to handle PS277bn of payments a day, were being handled manually.
It added that it was working to resolve the issue and all payments made would be processed.
A spokesman said: "The Bank of England has identified a technical issue related to some routine maintenance of the RTGS payment system and has paused settlement while we resolve it.
"We are working to address this issue as quickly as possible, and restart the RTGS payment system in a controlled manner.
"The most important payments are being made manually, and we can reassure the public that all payments made today will be processed."
Chaps is a separate organisation to the Bank, funded by lenders who pay fees to use its services. However, Chaps does use the Bank's RTGS network to run its system.
Chaps chief executive Phil Kenworthy said that any customer waiting for a Chaps payment to be settled should speak to their bank.
The Bank of England said its CREST system, which settles securities, Bacs, which processes direct debts, and Faster Payments Service, which handles online banking, were not affected by the outage.
Bank of <BEngland which has said that the system it uses to transfer payments between commercial banks - including for house purchases - has been hit by a technical outage