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Rogers Communications, a Canadian telecommunications giant with millions of customers, had an outage July 8 that affected many activities, including bank transactions.
The company blamed the outage on a coding error.
The major outage is over and the Canadian government is investigating.
A banking shutdown in Canada?
A video posted to Facebook warns: "BANKS & DEBIT CARDS SHUT DOWN."
"It’s happening in Canada right now," a man tells the camera. "Debit cards are refusing to work, accounts are being shut down. The entire banking system in Canada as we speak, as I’m making this video, is closing down."
A service outage from industry giant Rogers Communications lasted for most of July 8 and affected some banking activity. But this claim of a banking shutdown goes too far.
The video appears to have originated on TikTok, though it’s unclear when. By the time it reached Facebook on July 15, the shortage was resolved. The Facebook post was flagged as part of Facebook’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Facebook.)
This video could have been filmed during the outage, which affected more than 10 million users.
Reuters reported that the shutdown lasted 19 hours, ending late on July 8, and that cellphone and internet connections were affected. (Reports on the shutdown’s precise length have varied; CBC News reported that some customers were affected for days.)
The claim that "the entire banking system in Canada is shutting down" is not accurate.
"The entire system is not closing down," Michael Geist, a law professor at the University of Ottawa, told PolitiFact.
Geist, who testified on the outage during a House of Commons committee hearing on July 25, said in an email that the widely used Canadian electronic payment system, known as Interac, was down during the outage, which he said lasted for nearly 24 hours. Interac said that its debit and e-payment operations were affected.
Banks reported that debit cards, funds transfer systems, online banking activities, automated teller machines and other activities were affected, according to Bloomberg News.
Other parts of the financial system, such as the Canadian stock market, were not affected, said Andreas Park, professor at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management.
A Facebook post claimed that Canada’s entire banking system is closing down.
Rogers Communications, a major telecommunications services provider, had an outage that lasted the better part of a day. Some banking activities were affected.
The post does not say that the outage is over and says the banking system is closing down, which isn’t accurate.
We rate this claim False.
Facebook video, July 15, 2022.
Toronto Star, "Rogers executives face hearing into the ‘complete loss of connection’," July 25, 2022, accessed July 27, 2022.
Email interview, Andreas Park, professor, Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto, July 27, 2022.
Email interview, Michael Geist, law professor and Canada Research Chair in Internet and E-commerce Law, University of Ottawa, July 27, 2022.
Reuters, "Rogers network resuming after major outage hits millions of Canadians," July 8, 2022, accessed July 27, 2022.
CBC News, "Rogers blames massive outage on error during network update," July 22, 2022, accessed July 27, 2022.
BBC, "Rogers outage: Why a network upgrade pushed millions in Canada offline," July 20, 2022, accessed July 27, 2022.
Bloomberg, "Rogers Apologizes as Network Collapse Paralyzes Canadian Business, Consumers," July 8, 2022, accessed July 27, 2022.
Interact, "Interac Statement on Rogers Outage," July 12, 2022, accessed July 27, 2022.
CBC, "Rogers customers grow increasingly frustrated on 3rd day without cell, internet service," July 10, 2022, accessed July 27, 2022.
Rogers Communications, "July 8 outage FAQs," undated, accessed July 27, 2022.
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