back to article Frowns all round as Smile and Co-op online banking goes down

The online services for the Co-operative Bank and its digital-only arm Smile are both out of action. Users have been complaining about outages since 8.40am this morning, with hundreds of reports on DownDetector and multiple angry tweets aimed at the banks. Hello @bankwithsmile the website is saying there are technical …

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Customer focussed or Bonus focussed?

Been with the Co-op Bank for 50 years. I've had accounts with most other UK banks. It was always the best. Then they got stuffed with Britannia's bad debts - we never found out why the auditor's due diligence failed and why the customers and the co-op had to pick up the bill and not them. This forced the firesale to the hedge funds who, I agree have royally shafted us on the IT front. And I'm not just talking of outages.

It really is tear making that nearly all our 'mutual' finance industry (always the best for savers and borrowers) is now in the hands of commercial bankers who appear to see us as fodder for their bonuses.

We should have a choice. Its almost gone.

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Re: Customer focussed or Bonus focussed?

If you've not read it already, the Kelly Review into the Britannia fiasco is worth a glance. You'll see it pretty much warts and all. Not a happy place to be, which is a shame because there are some smart, decent people there. At the moment.

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Mushroom

Re: Customer focussed or Bonus focussed?

I wondered at the time Britannia BS was merged into CFS what skeletons were in the closet, and how long it would take to find them. In the end the implosion was so massive it took out not only CFS but most of its CWS parent as well (also helped by the Somerfield acquisition so they weren't entirely blameless and had form in overpaying for vanity acquisitions). Britannia members got nothing from the [effective] demutualisation, bucking the windfall culture over the previous 15 years, other than a £1 membership each of the Co-Op, paid for out of what was left of BBS's own reserves. IoW each BBS membership was worth £1 which is very telling for what they knew then about the state of BBS's finances. Compare that to the ~£1000 that demutualisations had attracted.

If I was a conspiracy theorist I'd suggest the due diligence didn't fail and they knew exactly what they were taking on from that evidence alone. I'd also suspect that BBS manglement knew the problems they were facing and found, in CFS, a bunch of idiots that would acquire it regardless, to save them having to face any serious music. For the benefit of any litigious lawyers reading this, that's just personal opinion (and I'm an idiot), not a statement of fact.

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Re: Customer focussed or Bonus focussed?

Don't forget Co-op Group sold off Co-op Pharmacy to payoff some of this toxic debt.

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Re: Customer focussed or Bonus focussed?

We should have a choice. Its almost gone.

Switch to Nationwide. Still a proper building society and relatively free of the usual IT issues.

(Last words and famous..)

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It always cracks me up when people threaten to leave and join another bank, like they are going to have 100% uptime and they really do care about their customers!

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95% uptime is better than 0% though. Unfortunately Smile also recently changed to Internet-only, no phone service, which they used to offer.

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*cough* First Direct *cough*

Comment as per title. Been with them 20+ years without issue. Can't remember their excellent phone service, website or app ever not being available outside of their well published maintenance schedule.

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Update the marketing spin

no queues, no hassle, no jargon, no nonsense...........no service

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Anonymous Coward

Owned by Capita?

Nuff Said!!!! Pile of POOP!

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Trollface

Waiting for the obligatory "why don't they fail over to DR" commentards without anyone knowing the root cause of the issue

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M7S

Now if if it just took out the ATMs as well

then customers could enjoy the cashless society nirvana alluded to here https://www.theregister.co.uk/2017/11/06/link_atm_shakeup_analysis/

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Here is what I know

Long before the hedge funds took over the Bank was trying to update its IT systems. It made a complete rickets of this and after spending hundreds of millions dropped it. This contributed to the hole in the accounts but a major problem seemed to be managers with egos bigger than their intelligence. Now as the world is run by accountants and they want their spreadsheets to be simple they wanted to have just one line for IT. So they out-source the infrastructure provision to IBM, having years ago out-sourced the program development, but in an effort to keep down the cost of the contract they failed to correctly identify all the key components of the service. Now some poxy little Windows server can fail and interrupt service to the highly resilient expensively maintained bits.

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