Westpac outage resolved after thousands of customers unable to access their accounts overnight following ‘routine technology update’

Westpac outage resolved after thousands of customers unable to access their accounts overnight following ‘routine technology update’
  • PublishedDecember 5, 2023

“We want to apologise to all our customers who were impacted by the issue overnight,” Westpac, one of Australia’s big four banks, said in a statement on social media platform X at 5:17am AEDT.

“We recognise this took too long to resolve and we thank customers for their patience.”

The bank announced the outage on X at 8:19pm AEDT on Monday.

“We’re aware that customers are currently experiencing issues accessing account information in online and mobile banking.”

The company said its teams were working to fix the issue “as a matter of urgency”, and apologised to customers for any inconvenience.

More than three hours later, at 11:48pm AEDT, the bank said the outage was “following a routine technology update earlier this evening”.

A screenshot of the Westpac website, with a 'Service unavailable' banner at the top', and an ad for its bank app below
Westpac says its mobile banking service is down, but its self-service phone banking is still operating.(ABC News)

Some customers posted on social media that they were not able to see any of their accounts after logging in to the bank’s mobile app.

“Is the app glitched or has something happened?” one asked Westpac on X. “Can’t see any of my accounts, do any transfers, etc.”

“A lot of people, seeing zero balances or no bank accounts, are quite understandably freaking out now, thinking they have just lost their entire savings,” another wrote.

Australian Shareholders’ Association CEO Rachel Waterhouse said Westpac needed to minimise the risk of a repeat going forward to avoid shareholder outrage. 

“There is a general theme amongst retail shareholders around the importance of customer service,” she told ABC News Breakfast.

“And we have seen that across airlines and other industries and concern.

“It’s not all about making money. It’s around looking after the customer.

“Boards and management are responsible for the risk of an organisation and minimising that.

“So you would think that this is something identified as a risk and that they make sure that it doesn’t happen going forward.”

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Rachel Waterhouse says Westpac should be identifying this outage as a shareholder risk. 

More than 10,000 reports of issues were recorded by around 8pm AEDT, according to the website Down Detector, which tracks outages.

Westpac said its ATM and card payment services were still available, as well as its self-serve telephone banking on 132 032.

The company has been contacted for further comment.

Westpac suffered an outage on November 10, 2022, when customers were unable to access mobile and internet banking for a number of hours.

The Commonwealth Bank, one of Westpac’s major competitors, apologised to its customers in June this year after a major glitch left them unable to make purchases with their bank cards or access their accounts.


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