| Hakim Hayat & Siti Hajar |
BRUNEI’S flagship Islamic financial institution, Bank Islam Brunei Darussalam (BIBD), suffered a major technical glitch during peak banking hours yesterday, which disrupted key banking services across its network throughout the day prompting the bank to close its branches nationwide.
At press time last night, a BIBD spokesperson said they were working round the clock to resolve the issue and restore normal services, following the disruption that began in the morning that affected basic banking services such as Debit Card usage, Automated Teller Machines (ATM), Cash Deposit Machines (CDM) as well as its online and mobile services.
The nation’s largest bank assured its customers that none of their account holders’ data or funds have been compromised as a result of the technical glitch, despite rumours on social media of a security breach or cyber attack, which the bank’s Managing Director, Javed Ahmad has strongly dismissed.
Javed said the security of all their customers’ accounts have not been compromised as a result of the disruption which he attributed to “a technical issue due to substantial volume” that led to the nationwide system shutdown. “We are now working to fix the issue, but there are no security concerns,” he said.
Government servants across the Sultanate received their salaries and annual bonuses on Monday, which saw increased traffic in banking transactions nationwide.
The bank announced the shutdown of its branches in a statement issued on its Facebook page at about noon yesterday and recommended its customers to make use of other banking channels to make transactions. However, a majority of its automated and online banking systems were inaccessible for account holders at the time.
The BIBD hotline, upon enquiry by the Borneo Bulletin, apologised to its customer base due to the inconvenience caused explaining that the bank was experiencing technical issues. It was said that normal account operations were expected to resume today.
A visit to a number of BIBD branches earlier yesterday saw groups of disgruntled customers who were heard voicing their grievances to the BIBD staff on the inconvenience, while those on social media expressed their frustration when card transactions at merchants and ATM withdrawals were not accepted, leaving many high and dry. It was resolved when some of the bank’s systems were up and running in the evening.
It was also learnt that BIBD account holders who are currently overseas on holiday also faced problems with their ATM withdrawals and Debit Cards during the course of the disruption.
In another statement on its Facebook page yesterday evening, the bank announced the resumption of most of its ATM, Cards and Online services, apologised for the inconvenience caused and thanked their customers for their patience and understanding.