Several euro zone commercial and central banks were left flying solo by a new glitch in the European Central Bank’s payment system late on Monday as they lost access to their online account in the crucial hours before the close of business.
The Target system, which connects banks and central banks around the euro zone and handles payments worth nearly 2 trillion euros ($2.34 trillion) per day, suffered a string of crashes last year, forcing the ECB to launch an independent review and an overhaul.
In Monday’s incident, “a substantial number of participants” such as banks, central banks and market-infrastructure firms, lost access to the platform that allows them to monitor their transactions and account balance with Target, a spokesperson told Reuters on Tuesday.
This meant they had to rely on their own book-keeping to know how much money they had left at the central bank and see incoming and outgoing payments.
“It’s technically not possible to say how many users were affected. It’s probably a substantial number of participants,” the spokesperson said.
“Participants usually do not rely only on Target to monitor their Target account balance and have their own internal accounting tools,” he added.