Standard Bank hoofs top executive over IT problems

Standard Bank hoofs top executive over IT problems
Alpheus Mangale

Standard Bank’s head of IT engineering has “resigned with immediate effect” following a series of IT outages that have embarrassed the financial services giant.

The bank said in a brief statement on Friday that Alpheus Mangale, “as the senior executive responsible for the stability of our IT systems”, has resigned from the group “with immediate effect”.

Mangale, who previously served as group CIO, has been with the bank for almost five years. Prior to that, he’d been chief enterprise officer at MTN South Africa (between 2014 and 2017) and MD of Cisco South Africa (from 2012 to 2014).

“Over the past two months, the Standard Bank Group has had a series of system outages with a negative impact on our clients and our employees,” it said.

“Since the major outage on 21 May 2022, our priority has been to stabilise 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.”

On 24 May, Standard Bank South Africa CEO Lungisa Fuzile has apologised profusely during a media conference for the bank’s downtime the previous weekend, which prevented clients from transacting for an extended period — just the latest in a series of incidents.

Fuzile said the downtime, which lasted for about six hours through the busy Saturday morning shopping period, was caused by a failure with a “generic switch” used for inbound and outbound transactions, which required the bank’s engineers to rebuild the architecture from the ground up in a matter of hours.

‘Almost wholly inaccessible’

The CEO said the outage meant Standard Bank systems, including ATMs and point-of-sale devices, became “almost wholly inaccessible” to most of its clients.

The bank said that following Mangale’s departure, the IT engineering team will now report to Margaret Nienaber, the group’s chief executive for client solutions, adding to her current portfolio.

“Nienaber has wide and deep executive experience in all aspects of financial services,” it said.

TechCentral wasn’t immediately able to reach Mangale for comment.

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