May 11, 2018 / 11:39 PM / 5 months ago

Citibanamex reports bank transfer delays in echo of possible hack

MEXICO CITY, May 11 (Reuters) - Mexican bank Citibanamex, the local unit of Citigroup Inc, said on Friday that some of its clients had experienced delays in interbank transfers, symptoms that afflicted local banks in April after a potential hack of the central bank.

“Today, 11 May 2018, certain delays have been generated in interbank payments sent or received by our clients,” the bank said in a statement.

“Citibanamex has not presented any problems in its payment systems. Our interconnection is operating normally,” it added, without giving further details.

Mexico’s central bank said in April that it was investigating an apparent attempt to hack into the payment systems of at least three local financial institutions. No funds were stolen.

At the time, Mexican bank Banorte said “some clients saw a delay in executing transactions” after an “incident” affecting its connection to the central bank’s payment system.

A central bank spokeswoman said on Friday that she had no information to give on Citibanamex’s problems, and referred Reuters to the bank’s April 30 statement.

In it, the bank said its SPEI interbank transfer system “had never been at risk,” but that “problems were detected in three institutions that used an application, provided by an external provider, that allows some participants to connect to the SPEI.”

In January, hackers attempted to rob the government-run export bank Bancomext, but officials said they were unsuccessful.

SWIFT, the global messaging system used to move trillions of dollars each day, has been used by hackers to attack banks around the world, but the Brussels-based company has not disclosed the number of attacks. (Reporting by Sharay Angulo, Editing by Rosalba O’Brien)

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