TOKYO – All it took was one wrong setting to prevent auto-backup equipment from triggering when a critical device fails, causing a system-wide shutdown that interrupted a day Full trading on the Tokyo Stock Exchange earlier this month, according to a report submitted Friday.
The exchange and its parent company, Japan Exchange Group, have been ordered by the Financial Services Agency to submit the report on the causes of the October 1 blackout as well as measures to prevent it from happening again, including working with securities firms to develop clearer contingency plans.
The TSE will make the details public early next week.
The exchange was heavily criticized for a lack of communication around the October 1 close, as well as inadequate planning which prevented trading from resuming even after the technical malfunction was corrected.
Financial oversight will consider whether to impose a Business Improvement Order or other administrative sanctions, with the final decision likely to be based on the findings of an independent investigative committee established by Japan Exchange. .
Finance Minister Taro Aso told reporters on Friday that the investigation into the problem and the failure to restore the service “must continue”, adding that “we will properly verify the report”.
The device causing the problem was made by Fujitsu and installed in November 2019 during a TSE commercial system update, this is when the problem with the settings arose. The exchange replaced equipment, corrected settings, and looked for similar issues elsewhere in the system.
The reason trading did not resume on the same day was confusion over how brokerages deal with orders already submitted by clients in the event of a system reset. Some companies have indicated the restart will be difficult, while others have not been consulted by the TSE.
The exchange will hold a conference to develop procedures to ensure a quick restart after any future problems, involving not only large Japanese and foreign securities companies, but also online brokers and mid-sized companies.
Because brokerage firms differ in the way they structure their systems and respond to technical issues, depending on factors such as size and customer base, TSE seeks to solicit a wide range of perspectives. She has already surveyed major players through the Japan Securities Dealers Association.
The first meeting should take place as early as next week. Companies will discuss setting standards for when to stop trading and under what conditions to resume trading, as well as issues such as how to handle system resets.
“We will rework our entire business contingency plan,” said a senior TSE official.
The exchange plans to clarify management’s responsibility for the incident after a full investigation is completed. Internal disciplinary action for the management team, including TSE Chairman and CEO Koichi Miyahara, will be decided based on factors, including the findings of the Japan Exchange investigative committee.
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