The BoE ordered them to detail steps taken to secure computers connected to the SWIFT bank messaging network, according to insiders who spoke to Reuters.

The orders included conducting a 'compliance check' to check whether they are following security procedures issued by SWIFT after an attack in February saw $81m £56m stolen from Bangladesh's central bank.

On 13 May, SWIFT issued a notice saying that another instance of a malware-led attack on an institution had emerged, directed at banks' secondary controls.

In addition to the two fraud attempts on the SWIFT network, major financial institutions have been targeted recently as part of hacking group Anonymous's Operation Icarus, a hacktivist project protesting the role of banks in global corruption.

In 2014, Andrew Gracie, Executive Director, Resolution at the BoE, formally launched a new framework to help identify areas where the financial sector could be vulnerable to sophisticated cyber-attack.

This was part of the BoE's response to the Financial Policy Committee's recommendation to test and improve resilience to cyber-attack.

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