LAST MINUTE NEWS: Statement from Akbank Managing Director Hakan Binbaşgil

Akbank experienced blackouts that began on July 6 due to a technical problem with the bank’s main computer, and thousands of people were killed.

During the process, Akbank customers were unable to access Akbank’s mobile banking and banking systems and faced service interruptions from Akbank’s ATM systems.

After the process, which lasted 2 days, the systems returned to normal and the first statement came from Akbank’s Managing Director, Hakan Binbaşgil, about the interruptions.

The following statements have been included in the statement:

“Dear speakers,

First of all, I sincerely apologize for the negative experience we have had with you over the past two days and thank you for your patience.

The interruptions due to a technical problem in our bank’s main computer, which began on July 6, 2021, were fixed on the evening of July 7, 2021, thanks to the hard work of our affected units and our technology business partners. Since then, all of our systems have served our customers without any problems.

Technology is an issue that is at the heart of our bank’s strategies and in which we invest significantly. Our main banking application runs on the IBM Mainframe system, which is used in many major banks around the world. In our bank, we have a triple redundant structure consisting of two main systems (technically active-active) operating in a synchronized and redundant manner with each other, and a secondary data center located in Izmir. Our Akbank data center, in which the aforementioned dual main system operates and which we commissioned in 2020, meets the high international standard known as Tier-3.

Despite all this high technology, I would like to share with you the unfortunate process that we went through in complete transparency:

On the morning of Tuesday, July 6, 2021, there was a problem in the main database of the banking system and in the disk management system. All of our channels have been affected by this and repeated outages have started to occur.

With the participation of domestic and foreign experts, as well as our technology business partner, studies to identify and solve the problem were immediately started.

Although the transactions of our customers were partially carried out thanks to these studies carried out throughout the day, the continuity of the service could not be fully guaranteed.

Therefore, on Wednesday July 7th at 7:30 am, it was decided to restart the database and disk systems with some configuration changes to reflect the overall effect of the work done throughout the day.

This study, conducted with great care and in a controlled manner so as not to be repeated, continued throughout the day and our channels could not be served.

On the same day, from 7.15 p.m. our systems were gradually opened and from 11.55 p.m. smooth service to our customers began in all our channels. Our system has stabilized.

“NO SITUATION HAS OCCURRED OF LOW SECURITY OF PERSONAL DATA”

On Thursday July 8, 1.5 times the normal number of trades were processed and our system was operating at its usual high performance level.

During this difficult time, no cyber attacks were experienced and no situation occurred that could weaken the security of our customers’ personal data.

In this difficult process, all of our friends and business partners have worked tirelessly and hard to keep our systems uninterrupted. Unfortunately, it took a long time to resolve the issue.

The negativities experienced by our clients during this period are a source of great sadness for me and all my colleagues.

In order to compensate for this process that we have gone through, we have prioritized the elimination of our customer complaints and promptly implemented our precautionary packages, which we have advertised on our website.

In an environment where technological dependence has become inevitable, problems similar to those we have known are unfortunately experienced in many institutions around the world, despite all precautions. Communication early in the process is as important as resolving the problem. Of course, we also learned important lessons from what happened. While we hope that institutions like us, which have focused on technology, change and development, and have adopted transparent communication with their clients and stakeholders, never experience such situations, we are ready to share our learning with our industry.

The bond of mutual trust between our bank and its customers dates back many years, and the strength of this bond becomes more evident in such difficult processes. I cannot thank our customers enough for making us feel like they are with us all the time.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank the esteemed institutions and representatives of the banking and financial sector, especially BRSA, CBRT, SPK, our investors, business partners and employees, whose hearts always go with Akbank, for their attention and support throughout the process.

Aiming to serve clients with healthy finances and a people-centered approach to banking for 73 years, our bank will pursue its goal of providing the best banking experience based on its teachings.

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