Standard Bank’s Chief Engineering Officer, Alpheus Mangale, who was the senior executive accountable for the stability of the bank’s IT systems, has resigned with immediate effect. Standard Bank said in a statement on Friday, 3 June 2022 that this comes after a string of banking system disruptions in South Africa during recent months.

Many of these system disruptions occurred on paydays, causing consumers who needed to make normal month-end payments to be inconvenienced.

“The engineering team will now report to Margaret Nienaber, the group’s chief executive for client solutions, adding to her current portfolio. Margaret Nienaber has wide and deep executive experience in all aspects of financial services,” the South African headquartered bank further announced.

Retail banking customers inconvinienced

During the most recent system disruptions, Standard Bank's retail banking ustomers were trapped in restaurants, petrol  stations, and retail centers on 21 May 2022. This was one of the bank's worst system failure in recent history.

In many cases there's anecdotal evidence that many of the bank's customers were only able to make transactions for R200 or less on the day of the latest system disruption.

Added to this latest ouage, Standard Bank also experienced days of sporadic outages in April 2021, its smartphone app wasn't functional in September 2021, another pay-day disruption occurred in October 2021, and another five-hour outage occurred in December 2021.

Stabilizing banking systems

Lungisa Fuzile, CEO of Standard Bank South Africa, held an emergency press conference May 2022 citing a "generic switch" failure for the six-hour outage in May.

"Since the major outage on 21 May 2022, our priority has been to stabilize our systems, ensure that services to our clients are fully restored, investigate and remove the causes of these outages, and demonstrate to our clients and colleagues that we are moving quickly and decisively to rebuild confidence in our systems." said the bank, answering questions concerning system redundancy.

Mangale joined Standard Bank as Chief Information Officer in September 2017. He previously held top executive leadership positions at MTN SA, Cisco Systems SA, and Dimension Data MEA. With effect from 1 January 2021, the post was renamed Chief Engineering Officer to reflect changes to the group's operational model.

— By Bataung Qhotsokoane

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