Pakistan’s largest bank in the private sector remained stuck on Tuesday as it faced a technical glitch that prevented its 23 million customers from performing financial transactions.
“There is a technical glitch that has slowed down the system to the extent where transactions are not being processed,” said a high official of Habib Bank (HBL), who forcefully dismissed the talk of cyberattack.
“HBL’s entire banking system is down,” a couple of bank officials said.
Customers were unable to conduct financial transactions through any means – manually and online. They were neither able to undertake transactions through cheques, nor could they do so through ATMs and internet banking.
“The management has officially not given any timeframe for (the complete) restoration of the system,” an official said.
The bank said that its “system is intermittently available due to a technical issue.”
“Due to this, some of our clients are experiencing a slower response from the bank’s network and cannot undertake transactions.”
Replying to a question about whether the bank was under a cyberattack, it replied “no, there has been no cyberattack on our system.”
“As advised earlier, the system is intermittently available. The bank’s team, along with external specialists, is working diligently to resolve the issue.”
The bank’s share price fell briefly at the Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) after its system went down, however, it recovered quickly in the second half of the day.
HBL had around 23 million customers out of the total of 62 million as of March 31, 2021. Of the total 16,200 branches of all banks working across the country, HBL has a network of 1,700 branches.