CREST outage sparked first use of emergency BoE facility since 2011

FILE PHOTO: A worker wearing a protective face mask walks past the Bank of England in the City of London, Britain, August 6, 2020. REUTERS/Toby Melville/File Photo

LONDON (Reuters) - Commercial banks used a Bank of England emergency lending facility last month for the first time since 2011 following an outage of the CREST financial markets settlement system, data showed on Wednesday.

The BoE said a record 3.003 billion pounds was outstanding through its Operational Standing Lending facility - designed to manage “unexpected ‘frictional’ payment shocks” - in the period ending Sept. 16.

Around that time the CREST financial markets settlement system, which sits at the heart of more than 1 trillion pounds’ worth of daily share and bond trades, suffered technical problems.

BoE data show that the standing lending facility was last used in July 2011. It previously never had more than 43 million pounds outstanding since its launch in 2008.

Reporting by Andy Bruce; Editing by William Schomberg