This sounds more like the real story...
I didn't believe they could be so dumb as to do an upgrade midweek. These comments tally with what their spokeperson said on Moneybox last Saturday: basically it was the backout on Tuesday that caused the problems. These posts spell out why they needed to do the backout, following an upgrade at the weekend that caused problems on Monday.
The following is taken from a number of posts on the westhamonline dot net forum by a poster called CTM who is currently working on the Natwest/RBS fiasco and who was due to be made redundant 2 weeks ago. The most worrying comment is that 'The backout caused the "queue" of jobs for that batch to be unexpectedly deleted. '
"Ok, since I work on the mainframe at RBSG, I'll let you know some facts - I'm currently on my 5th 12 hour shift in 4 days (and am quite busy so won't be back here for a while)
It is a mainframe problem and not a virus It was not deliberate by the bank
It was a third party product that was upgrading that caused a big whole in the batch schedule
RBS wasn't actually affected directly as the schedule is on a different LPAR - however focus was on NWB & UB and normal everyday errors on RBS side were not getting dealt with
COBOL and Assembler on the Mainframe, like most big banks. But it's not the application code that is the problem as I stated below. CA7 was updated to a new level last weekend. It was causing problems with the schedules on Monday so was backed out on Tuesday. The backout caused the "queue" of jobs for that batch to be unexpectedly deleted.
Not sure why DR wasn't invoked to be honest, but it wouldn't have made much difference as we'd still have been hours behind on our batches.
All transactions made on Tuesday and since WILL be processed eventually.
As for the account thats being sold to Santander - you can just phone the number on your letter and you won't be moved, so stop fucking whining like you've been made to do it. We could have done without the work and expense that was foisted on us! Anyway, there's a pot of gold at the end of the RAINBOW. SWT
Also, in my previous posts, the "not sure" was my own, not the banks - I'm sure that the discussions were had about DR and there must have been a good reason why it wasn't invoked. In truth DR is great in certain circumstances if it works, but in this one it wouldn't have. Obviously i can't go into too much detail here, but although the outsourcing to India did not cause the intial problem, the recovery has prompted questions to be asked as to who thought dumping over 50% of the UK support staff was a good idea - indeed people made redundant less tha a month ago have now been offered short term contracts to come back and help. Unfortunately, the balance sheet and pressure from the government to become independent again hasn't helped in the outsourcing/offshoring decision and I speak as a someone who was due to have been made redundant two weeks ago."