With the issues over the last few days affecting RBS you have to ask the question is it time to replace these old archaic systems that have been patched over the years and the de-risk the business.

What these banks have done is apply sticking plaster to a gaping wound. The original systems were never designed for the 24/7 365 model. What these people should have done is invested when times were good and position themselves for the 21st-century.

We probably at the point now where the replacement of these systems is inevitable or even will be mandated by government.

As an independent IT consultant I welcome the challenge should these be presented to us. We certainly have the expertise within the UK to undertake such an endeavour.

If the investment is too big for one bank then why don’t the banks get together and specify and build a standard banking system. Adopting a standard system would enable certain controls and reporting to be mandated and if this is done in concert with the government regulation could be built into the system is as well as the controls.

We really can’t afford to put off these issues to the future. Every time a bank tries to upgrade standard software that comprise part of the batch system the risk of it going wrong increases.

As these systems get older and older the intellectual property of the bank is diminishing as people retire, get outsourced and leave. There has to be a point at which this must be done to such critical systems. We are trying to run 21st-century finance systems with late 20th century technology.