Bloomberg Outage Hits UK Debt Management Office

Apr 20, 2015

A system failure at Bloomberg has caused problems for the UK Debt Management Office (DMO) which was forced to suspend a £3bn auction for Treasury bills.  

On Friday, the Bloomberg data and communication network unexpectedly crashed leaving many financial professionals in the lurch. 

The outage lasted around two and a half hours and was apparently caused by "a combination of hardware and software failures" and failures in the firm's "multiple redundant systems."  

A number of traders alerted the DMO about the failure, which prompted the halt of the auction, the first time the Office has been forced to do so.  

The purpose of the short-term auctions is to allow investors to purchase Treasury bills to raise money but the buyer also receives benefits - the government pays back the original price with interest. 

Digital Performance "Critical" 

"The Bloomberg outage shows just how critical digital performance management is to today's financial institutions," claimed Solutions VP for digital performance solutions provider Dynatrace Michael Allen. 

"The markets were flung back to the dark ages with a single outage, with reports indicating that the UK actually had to postpone a £3bn debt sale. 

"Typically Bloomberg is a very stable application, so this shows that even the most robust of applications can sometimes suffer from performance issues; this is why businesses need to have visibility into the entire application delivery chain to ensure that if a problem occurs then the root cause can be identified and fixed quickly.  

"Failure to do so can create chaos and, as evidenced, can even impact global markets," he added.   

The DMO has now been able to hold the auctions as it intended and Bloomberg claims the issues that hit its systems are all resolved.  



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