Taking Stock: Two London Stock Exchange outages in one month, at what cost?

01Dec09

A technical fault in a London Stock Exchange (LSE) server caused trading to falter on nearly 300 stocks for an hour and a half on November 9th, reported ITPro. Technical difficulties hit once again last Thursday, causing trading to halt for three and half hours, according to the BBC

That’s five hours downtime in one month.

Though LSE promised a full report after the first failure, I have not seen any evidence of it, so can not comment on the causes. I can, however, take an educated guess on its effects, and of the effects of the second outage.

Or can I? Maybe this is one of those rare occurrences where downtime actually led to saving money rather than losing it. In fact, in light of the Dubai situation, maybe someone at LSE took it down on purpose?

Joking aside, this is not the first time Europe’s oldest exchange has suffered from technical problems. Just last month, a problem in a market data feed suspended some trading and a year ago systems failure caused both the UK and South African markets to cease all trading for almost seven hours.

With a switch to Millennium IT’s trading platform planned for next year, LSE needs to fully resolve and clearly communicate these issues before “trading as normal” takes on a whole new meaning…



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