British Columbia

Vancity says service outage not a cyber or ransomware attack; no ETA on fix

Online services have been down since midnight Wednesday frustrating many customers.

Credit union is extending branch hours over the long weekend to accommodate online services outage

The president and CEO of Vancity says the service outage that hit the credit union over a day and a half ago is not related to any kind of security breach.

"The first thing we did was check to make sure there was no evidence of any type of cyber attack or hacking," said Tamara Vrooman. "And there has been no ransomware detected on our part. But we continue to monitor that."

A service disruption message on the Vancity online banking site. (Vancity)

Since midnight on Oct. 3, Vancity members have been unable to see their account balances or complete online transactions, including paying bills. 

ATMs, debit cards, mobile tap and Vancity credit cards are reportedly still working.

Member Krystal McLean said after getting fed up with the online outage, she physically went to her North Vancouver Vancity branch to withdraw cash, only to be frustrated even further.

"They were very unhelpful at the beginning. I wanted to take out all my savings ... but at first they said I could only have $500," she said. "If they don't have this back up by the long weekend, I'm going to be lost for money."

McLean is also worried about her credit score and late charges after bill payments didn't go through.

"The money was taken from my account but the bills haven't been paid," she said. "They told me bill [payees] won't be receiving their money until the system is back up."

Extended hours over long weekend

Vrooman said Vancity will cover late fees and interest incurred due to the outage to "keep our members whole."

She also said Vancity was reaching out to credit agencies to make sure members' credit scores were not adversely affected.

Late Friday, the credit union also said it would extend its branch hours over the Thanksgiving weekend in order to accommodate the service disruption. 

Branches will be open from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. through the weekend, and the Member Services Centre will be open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. during that time.

Vancity is unable to say when normal service will be restored. (CBC)

The problem is believed to be between two Vancity servers. However, the company still cannot say when the system will be back and running at full capacity.

"One of the reasons why it's been so difficult to provide members updates is that it's taken us longer to get to the root cause than we certainly would like," said Vrooman.

"I can tell you that we've got 100 per cent of the resources of the organizations, as well as calling in support from our third party vendors and our IT specialist to make sure we get this fixed as soon as possible.

Vancity has over 525,000 members in British Columbia.

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