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back to article RBS and NatWest FAIL downs services across UK

Thirsty NatWest and RBS customers across the UK are finding it difficult to get the last round in tonight, as the banks' systems have failed. The megabork, which began at around 9:30pm, has taken down cash machines, online banking and telephone banking for the majority of its customers across the UK. "We are aware of the …

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Oh dear! And Ms Leach has just left: how are you going to cover that unfolding story?

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In other news...

...the Payment Cards Association have said that the UK could do away with physical currency within a decade as Britons switch to using their debit cards for all transactions, large and small...

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Big Brother

Re: In other news...

The War On Cash hasn't worked in Sweden so far....

And you know what that is all about. Not convenience but surveillance.

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Anonymous Coward

Skimp on IT staff...

Another great success of out-sourcing?

D'oh!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Skimp on IT staff...

It's predominantly off-shoring, not outsourcing - The people in India are RBS employees.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Skimp on IT staff...

Offshored or outsourced, in the last 2 years RBS has kicked 7,500 MAN YEARS of experience out the door.

Clearly the bean counters telling Mike Errington how to run IT have no idea about experinece - but then I guess Accountancy hasn't changed in the last 300 years

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FAIL

Oops I did it again...

Another piss implementation.

I wonder who was involved this time

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Holmes

Bloodbath of the Contractors

I don't suppose its anything to do with the current sacking-spree they are instigating across the board?

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Facepalm

Re: Bloodbath of the Contractors

Don't be stupid! IT staff are a wasteful drain on resources. As well as often being an unsightly addition to any staff canteen - the pulchritude of which can always be added to by hiring more HT and marketing babes... Computers work because of the magic pixies inside of them, the IT staff just lie about all the work they claim to be doing. All you need is to think happy thoughts, and all your computers will work all the time. Managers whose computers fail are simply not good enough at positive thinking - and should also be fired!

Regards,

Your CEO

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Re: Bloodbath of the Contractors

When a business person thinks about software all they see it the UI. They think the UI is it. A hole-in-the-wall has a pretty simple UI so the software must be really simple, right?. They can out source the whole lot to some guy in Vietnam, hire a business analyst, a project manager, a cool babe to do the translation, and a product owner and still save loads of doh left over for their bonuses.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Bloodbath of the Contractors

When a business person thinks about software all they see it the UI.

That's how my current company got lumbered with a commercial version control system. The GUI looks amazing to a management or business type, but the underlying toolset is a pile of crap - despite costing roughly $1,000 per seat.

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Coat

In the beancounter office:

Beancounter1: "You know this IT-department that we have?"

BC2: "Those guys who play with their computers all day and steal the bandwidth from my cat-pix downloads? Yep, know them."

BC1: "Do they actually make money for the company?"

BC2: "Not as far as I can tell, they only ever want some to spend on their toys."

BC1: "If we make most of them redundant, couldn't we put that towards a slightly bigger bonus? My wife's Audi Q7 is already over 10 month old, you know."

BC2: " Grand idea, old chap. Let's do that! And let's outsource the leftovers to some other company. There's all kinds of good deals to be had, if you get an interpreter to do the negotiations. And maybe an extra week in Bangkok on the firm. For the negotiations, of course."

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Re: In the beancounter office: The short version

BC1: What are we paying all these IT staff for? We don't need them, all our IT systems are working perfectly.

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Again?

I've just recently been attending a lecture as part of the Mainframe Computing module, courtesy of a guy who I won't name here, but was actually quite good at giving presentations. He went into a little detail about the last RBS cock-up and how it happened.

Wonder if it's the same "let's outsource the work to someone on the other side of the world who'll do it for 50p/hour" reason as the last time? Apparently RBS started looking for more local talent after that.. how far have they gotten with that?

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Re: Again?

"let's outsource the work to someone almost on the other side of the world who'll do it for 75p/hour"

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Trollface

Another excuse to give themselves a bonus

By not giving customers access to their own money, they get to make more money on the interst. The only only surprising thing is that they haven't embezzled all the funds, bought themselves some third world country and buggered off to live there. Especially now the EC is limiting their bonuses to a paltry 2 times their salary. FFS how come any of them can justify a bonus for anything in the last 15 years.

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FAIL

FAIL felt as far as Oregon

This explains why I couldn't pay for the petrol this morning. Luckily I had enough Yanqui play-money scattered around my pockets to convince the guy that I would come back when I found a cashpoint, and wasn't trying to do a runner.

This is the second time I have regretted staying with RBS/Natwest. Time to move, I think. Question is, where?

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Re: FAIL felt as far as Oregon

First Direct

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Re: FAIL felt as far as Oregon

Co-op?

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Re: FAIL felt as far as Oregon

Seconded...

First Direct are excellent

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Re: FAIL felt as far as Oregon

I was considering the Co-op, but onpy after this year's major upgrade has settled down.

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Re: FAIL felt as far as Oregon

First direct here .... after the last major outage at the time thinking maybe 'lightning won't strike in the same place twice' , and then thinking that this analogy might not as such apply.

I feel very sorry for RBS staff who were really great to deal with after moving from my previous bank due to different circumstances. That aside I did think that the RBS response to the last 'glitch' did seem to be a triumph of style over substance.

Looking like the suggestions are First Direct or Coop...........

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Re: FAIL felt as far as Oregon

Or, HSBC Bank. Same people as First Direct.

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Happy

Re: FAIL felt as far as Oregon

Try your local credit union. Many of them now offer debit cards and direct debits and while they don't pay interest, they often pay a dividend of 3% or more.

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Re: FAIL felt as far as Oregon

Never had an issue with either First Direct or Smile.

But I would recommend First Direct, because Smile (and the Co-Op) require you to use a two-factor authentication system with your debit card to be able to do any transactions through your online banking. Not convenient if you're not at home, or the battery's flat, or you're in a hurry. Actually not convenient at all.

First Direct try to get you to install Trusteer Rapport ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EimZQgt7WPg )......... But, it's optional, so, not as heinous as the card reader from Smile.

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Re: FAIL felt as far as Oregon

Nationwide

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Re: FAIL felt as far as Oregon

I wouldn;t bother with the Co-op, I've been with them for about 5 years now and they've been useless. No way of checking available funds online, and when you do check it at a cash machine it's usually half a day behind, instant transfers take about 20 minutes to reach my account, you can't transfer between accounts from the app and staff are generally feckless.

Back to one of the big banks I go, one of the benefits of having shareholders, is they actually provide a decent service to go with it.

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@Paw Bokenfohr

"First Direct try to get you to install Trusteer Rapport"

I don't know how Trusteer managed this flim-flam act, but they have, and now just about all of the banks are doing the same.

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Re: FAIL felt as far as Oregon

I expect those staff, who I've always found to be competent, helpful and friendly, will be only too glad to see the back of you.

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Devil

Re: FAIL felt as far as Oregon

M&S Bank... pretty pictures on the debit card which the wife loves

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Re: FAIL felt as far as Oregon

I cancelled my Smile account when they introduced that stupid two-factor authentication, having your wallet to hand for the card pretty easy, but then having to remember where you last left the stupid calculator thing, putting your PIN number in it... 100% hassle

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WTF?

Re: FAIL felt as far as Oregon

"First Direct are excellent"

Sure , as long as you never want to discuss a complicated financial problem face to face and are happy doing everything over the internet or with someone on the phone in thailand. Personally I'd sooner use a bank that has high street branches.

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Re: FAIL felt as far as Oregon

Santander. no question about it.

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Happy

Re: FAIL felt as far as Oregon

The First Direct call centre is in Leeds, so you wouldn't end up speaking to someone abroad. Though there's still no chance of a face-to-face. On the up side I haven't had any big problems in 10 years.

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Happy

Re: FAIL felt as far as Oregon

How about going smaller.

Bank of Dave?

There most famous customer P. Lazorou.

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Re: FAIL felt as far as Oregon

Wouldn't touch any part of HSBC with a bargepole (or something even longer if someone can point me at it).

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"We are disappointed that our customers have faced disruption to banking services"

"...and we expect them to try harder next time"

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FAIL

Re: "We are disappointed that our customers have faced disruption to banking services"

Not half as disappointed as the taxpayers who bailed them out that couldn't access their money.

Amazing how the word weasels can twist things to make it sound like it was the customers fault.

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FAIL

fixed my arse!

as of 8:45am their on line banking is completely down

been with NatWest since 1973, dropped their credit cards 2 years ago for a much better product

guess it's time to move current account - you maybe shocked to learn that they don't have 1p of our savings / investments / pensions etc = best decision we ever made

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Holmes

What could go wrong.....

Oooooohhhh!!!!!! Let's get rid of engage in workstack redeployment for thousands of IT staff and "offshore" their jobs to India, what could go wrong......

I don't know if this was reported widely in the UK but due to an "Under collection error" at Ulster Bank in Ireland meant that over 1,300 of the bank’s mortgage customers face a bill of around €41M, about €31K per customer, after they were under-charged in their repayments over a number of years.

But do remember that none of this is due to off-shoring/out sourcing as all systems are managed from the UK, presumabaly from Stephen Hester's and Mike Errington's offices.

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Oh dear

Who's been patching live systems (again) tsk

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FAIL

Most people stay with their bank in the UK due to inertia.

Bottom line you are resource. It's your cash they tap to lend to people at substantially above the BoE base rate (which your current account will see barely a penny from).

Anyone who knows the UK magazine "Money Facts" will know just how similar most accounts are. There are some gems buy you'll have to dig deep.

UK high street banks are much of a muchness. They do not reward loyalty.

Why should you reward their greed and incompetence?

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Re: Most people stay with their bank in the UK due to inertia.

I'm with Natwest at the moment (haven't had any card issues but that's due to spending most of the week ill in bed) but I think this recent fuck up has confirmed that we can expect more outages in future.

So what alternatives are there? Is the Co-op any good, or a similar set up that doesn't have a bunch of money grubbing CEOs?

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Re: Most people stay with their bank in the UK due to inertia.

Sadly NatWest give me a 0.2% off my mortgage for having my current account with them. And I have to have a current account in order to keep it.

Of course there's nothing stopping me from having another current account, and just bunging a standing order of £1,000 a month through the NatWest one and back out again. If this carries on, I guess I'll have to consider that.

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Re: Most people stay with their bank in the UK due to inertia.

I don't get people who have savings accounts. Put £10,000 into the hands of a third-party who will gamble it (some of it "guaranteed", of course) to make themselves some more money, don't touch it for a year, and maybe - just maybe - you might get £10,200 back. Hell, if you get a really good rate, maybe £10,500. Then that extra gets taxed. Take into account inflation and you're lucky if you break even (current savings rates are around 2-2.5%, current inflation at about 3%). And if you touch it more than they allow you, you'll make nothing back at all (i.e. a loss of value).

If you told someone that, if they lent you a tenner, you would give them a tenner and 20 pence back next year, they'd tell you where to go.

And yet, go a penny over and the bank will "fine" you £25 (because what you want to do to people who can't pay for things is make it harder for them to pay anything at all, if you're a bank), plus interest for the privilege without bothering to consult you first (find me a bank account where I *CAN'T* go overdrawn at all, ever, in any way, and transactions just get refused when I have insufficient money - they don't exist).

Last time they did it to me, several years ago now, I arranged an hour's meeting with the branch manager and just wasted their time. Doesn't get me my money back, but - as I replied when the manager asked what I thought I achieved by wasting his time: "How much does a branch manager earn per hour? Is it more or less than £25? <at this point, he wisely didn't answer less because I would have stayed longer> How much will it cost you if we ALL do this?". Met the same guy managing another branch the next year - he was much more helpful and friendly that time.

I have a bank account. Every month, my wages go in, and the end of the every month it reads zero (with a small safety margin). It costs me nothing to have it, even though I'd be happy to pay for reasonable banking (they do, of course, offer services like cards and cheque clearance that I understand they have to pay for - but until they are reasonable about things like cheque clearance times, "automatic overdrafts", etc. then they can stick it - hell, where's my damn text to tell me my card has been used, where and how much, like every other European bank does for free, or is fraud non-existent and me knowing exactly how much I have just THAT much of a burden to them?). I have a credit card - it's prepay and the pittance per month it costs is worth the infrastructure and convenience of using it. I don't have a savings account. I don't have other products. Why would I?

Hell, when I went to the banks years ago (at the height of the mortgage market) to buy a house, they literally laughed when they heard how much I earned (which, to be honest, was a decent wage which made me even more annoyed). Belittle your customers to their faces, that's customer service. We walked out. We walked to the shop next door that didn't laugh, chased our custom, gave us a mortgage same-day and we paid them every penny, on-time, every month for years during all the mortgage crisis, and sold the house for profit a few years later paying off the complete mortgage + interest.

I dislike banks, so I avoid using them wherever possible. Where I have to use them, I make sure they are getting as little benefit from my custom as absolutely possible. When they are unreasonable with me, I cost them money, empty my account, take my account elsewhere and - later, when they are just on the verge of charging me for it - close my account.

Loyalty? You earn my loyalty.

Money? I earn my money. If you want it, you have to earn something for me (interest pittances don't count).

Custom? You earn my custom.

And when you do, I'm happy to pay reasonably for the service. They could have had ten times the money they've had from me over the years just by being reasonable.

They can't even charge people for their bank accounts, despite years of hard-sell. That's what banking services are worth to the man on the street. For businesses, it's different and banks are a necessary evil, but what make you think people WANT to use you?

I stopped caring about banks years ago when they stopped caring about me, and "inertia" on my account lasts only so long as you stop screwing me over (which would happen in a second if I wasn't vigilant). There's plenty of banks and, if it really came to it, all I actually need is a pre-pay credit card. I could have my wages put on it quite easily, it would pay for every service I require, and it would cost less than any other method (I don't use or carry cash - I literally have an empty wallet 99.99% of the year - and withdrawing cash is the only part that pre-pay cards really charge you for). It's only the hassle associated with not having a bank account that keeps mine open (e.g. Direct Debit discounts, etc.).

Why treat banking different to any other industry? Treat me like the scum of the earth and I'll act like it with you and cost you the most money I can.

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P_0

Re: Most people stay with their bank in the UK due to inertia.

So what do you do with your money?

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Happy

Re: Most people stay with their bank in the UK due to inertia.

So what do you do with your money?

Wrong question. That's far too transparent. The correct question is, where do you live? Oh, and by the way, how much space is there under your mattress?

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P_0

Re: Most people stay with their bank in the UK due to inertia.

I wasn't trying to get information to go cat burgling, I just wondered where he puts his money, since he empties his bank account every month. Either he goes on an extraordinary bender down the pub or he saves it somewhere that isn't a bank, i.e. bonds, stock market, both of which could have better returns than the paltry interest on a bank account, but with the downside of reduced liquidity.

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Re: Most people stay with their bank in the UK due to inertia.

'And yet, go a penny over and the bank will "fine" you £25 (because what you want to do to people who can't pay for things is make it harder for them to pay anything at all, if you're a bank), plus interest for the privilege without bothering to consult you first'

Santander go one better than that. They pay out to take you over your limit (and charge you £25 for it), then reclaim the payment, because you are now over your limit (and charge you £25 for doing so), Then charge you £5 for being over your limit for a day!

' (find me a bank account where I *CAN'T* go overdrawn at all, ever, in any way, and transactions just get refused when I have insufficient money - they don't exist).'

Actually, they do exist. The majority of them are for those with bad credit scores, so they charge you up to £15 a month for the privilege of having a bank account!

Halifax Livecash, however, doesn't do credit checks and will also accept discharged bankrupts

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Re: Most people stay with their bank in the UK due to inertia.

For the last twenty years I have been doing that with Barclays and Lloyds. One of them screwed up a direct debit to the tune of £1000, so most of my money has since been with the other.

A staff cockup, not a computer fault.

Yes, I'm being a bit vague here. It could have been either bank making the first mistake.

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