2-Day Japan Bank System Failure Resolved; 5 Million Bank Transactions Affected

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
The logo of Japanese Bankers Association is seen in Tokyo, 2021.

The Japanese Banks’ Payment Clearing Network, or Zengin-net, announced Thursday that the failure in its interbank data communication system had been resolved, with transactions available from Thursday morning.

The glitch continued for two full days, delaying remittances and the receipt of funds in over 5 million transactions.

The failure in the Zengin Data Telecommunication System (Zengin System) that handles interbank settlements occurred Tuesday morning, affecting a dozen financial institutions such as MUFG Bank, Resona Bank and Shoko Chukin Bank. The institutions were unable to transfer money to other banks.

A malfunction in the relaying computers that connect the Zengin System and the member banks occurred after the computers were updated between Saturday and Monday. Zengin-net’s restoration work was completed early Thursday morning.

Zengin-net said the two-day system failure had affected a total of 5.06 million transactions as of Wednesday evening — 2.55 million transfers from the glitch-affected banks to other banks and 2.51 million transfers from other banks to the affected banks.

Of these, 870,000 transfers from the affected banks could not be processed over the two days, and 990,000 Wednesday transfers from other banks were also unprocessed. Financial institutions are currently working to process payments.

More than 1,000 financial institutions, including banks and credit unions, participate in the Zengin System, but this is the first time since the system began operating in 1973 that a failure affected ordinary users.

The failure is believed to have significantly impacted people’s lives, affecting things like the transfer of salaries and public benefits, as well as insurance payments. Banks were forced to take measures such as limiting or suspending the acceptance of transfers to other banks.