back to article The Co-Op Bank's online banking has gone TITSUP*

The Co-Operative Bank’s online banking has been offline all morning thanks to over-running “planned essential maintenance”. The bank expects it to be down until at least 1pm today. It is not yet known why the bank’s systems have apparently gone offline during a working day, though unlucky customers clicking the “log in” link …

  1. Colin Critch

    Punch tape

    They had to edit together some punch tape to update the SSL cert

    1. MyffyW Silver badge

      Re: Punch tape

      Back when I was a child I remember how a neat roll of punch tape used to unspool into a messy spiral that sank to the floor.

  2. wolfetone Silver badge

    "The bank’s web helpdesk replied to him that the outage was because of “planned essential maintenance” overrunning."

    Bullshit.

    Usually if there is planned maintenance from the bank they let the customers know. They did last time (even though they over-ran, but still) but this time I received nothing.

    I'm a customer, and I'm bloody worried about what's going on with that bank.

    1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

      My guess is a lot of Intel firmware updates, which will require complete cold restarts of all the systems...

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        "My guess is a lot of Intel firmware updates"

        Intel? I'm sure they're advanced enough to use Zilog Z80s.

  3. Hollerithevo Silver badge

    Co-op have always been great

    I don't freak out by the occasional outage. Happens to the best of us. I have had superb service from Co-op since I joined. Really helpful on the phone and the website does not suck nearly as badly as some other banks. I am sorry they are going through a rough time, because the employees are lovely. I don't work for them, I just like them. I fear for them and me in the future, given all the news about their possible fate.

    1. Bogle
      FAIL

      Re: Co-op have always been great

      Recently moved on from the Co-op, both a credit card I'd used for perhaps 20 years and a joint account for more than 5 years.

      Online banking offerings are now the main showcase for customers (unfortunately just *after* you've joined) and they are *all* horrible to some degree. The web interface invariable creaks and groans mightily. They are *all* making some kind of basic security error. For example, I opened a TSB account last night and it only allows alpha-numerics in the password.

      I moved on from the Co-op when their online offering was upgraded to unusable.

      1. Hollerithevo Silver badge

        Re: Co-op have always been great

        I've seen Co-op through a lot of web upgrades. The latest one is by no means the worst. There are very odd usability issues -- I can't think that they test much with real people (that is, I suspect they test it on each other), but it is clearer than before, and the online messaging is actually great -- you get answers within minutes instead of hanging on the phone. I am not saying that it is a great site -- I haven't found any bank's online service great -- but it is OK.

      2. gnasher729 Silver badge

        Re: Co-op have always been great

        "For example, I opened a TSB account last night and it only allows alpha-numerics in the password."

        Meaning that a password supplied automatically by the Safari browser isn't going to work (it's like abc-def-geh...) But there's worse. I know one place that changed their password rules, so my existing password stopped working...

  4. Dr Who

    "We are looking to bring it back online as soon as possible"

    There's a gaggle of techies sitting around with that slightly vertiginous / nauseous feeling in the pit of their stomachs, sweaty palms, and fingers trembling too much to type accurately at the command prompt ... all of them quietly mumbling "fuck fuck fuck oh fucking fuuuuuck" under their breaths. AKA the patch borked everything and the rollback isn't working.

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      "There's a gaggle of techies sitting around with that slightly vertiginous / nauseous feeling in the pit of their stomachs, sweaty palms"

      We've all been there.

      1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

        "There's a gaggle of techies sitting around with that slightly vertiginous / nauseous feeling in the pit of their stomachs, sweaty palms"

        We've all been there.

        And, on one memorable occasion[1] for me, the added bonus of a migraine which meant that the left half of my vision was AWOL and I couldn't take my usual medication since it (generally) leaves me in a state somewhat akin to a freshly-animated zombie..

        Oh - and having a particularly irritating colleage keep asking me "when is it going to be fixed?" didn't help. My manager (who, unusually, had really good people skills) took him away before he ended up in the sewage soakaway in a non-functioning state..

        [1] New building we were moving in to. BT had told me that the circuit was live to the new building. It wasn't (BT lied - who'd have guessed?). We had a spare ISDN-30 available in both old and new buildings. So I built a dial-on-demand ISDN link between the two buildings over ISDN-30 that brought in channels as needed - something I'd never done before.. The frame-relay circuit[2] in the old building was still in place so we were able to use that to route out. The 40 days that link was available would have cost us lots of money if we hadn't got our tame Nazgul involved.

        [2] Which tells you how long ago it was..

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I had to revert to backup last weekend - bad time to find that a customer's SQL Server had 'FULL' selected for logs and was only being backed up as part of a server backup, so logs never cleared.

  5. tedleaf

    Anyone daft enough to still have money with cockop banks should expect this more and more often,as cockop have more and more problems getting anyone to work for them,no matter how much they are offered..

    Worst bank I have ever had the misfortune to have to use.

    Their communications are dreadful,it took direct phone calls from the head of debt recovery to a local branch manager to stop him trying to prosecute me for fraud even after he had been sent three letters from the same head of debt recovery at head office who had proved using their own records that staff at that branch had cocked up,even though they were told by me repeatedly face to face at the time that they were making a mistake and were dealing with the wrong account !!!

  6. breakfast

    Every time something like this happens it's one tick closer to me getting off my ass and finally moving my account somewhere more competent. It's not like they have a significant ethical standpoint now anyway, all owned by hedge funds and vulture capital same as the rest, so it really is inertia by now. The extended downtimes for online banking are chipping that away rapidly by now.

    1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

      it's one tick closer to me getting off my ass and finally moving my account somewhere more competent

      Nationwide still does it for me - I've been with them for (counts finger & toes using binary) 31 years. Their banking app is pretty good too.

  7. AdamK

    The new site is a bit grim. Printing correctly formatted statements from Chrome is impossible so its back to FF for that which works fine. The new site dumps bank statements in the as PDFs in your TEMP folder which stay there after the session and browser exit. I have messaged them about this. The superb reply was "you will have to contact windows about that". When all is said and done I have been effected by one unplanned outage in 8 years before this, which isn't too bad at all.

  8. cwm

    Still down at 2.22pm

    El Reg needs to update their 13.12 update as the site is still down at 2.22pm.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Back up? Errr.... no. And the support line cannot even estimate when it will be.

    Severely unimpressed.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    IBM

    My money (which isn't kept in the coopwank) is on this being something they've outsourced to IBM. That shower of shit couldn't change a light bulb without screwing it up.

    #ethicalbankmyarse

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Multiple bank accounts?

    Has anyone anywhere managed to run multiple online bank accounts from and managed to make an objective comparison of which works the best.

    I've been with Co-op/Smile for several years and for me they have been 'OK', but I would had to relive those years again to make a true comparison with another bank.

    I'm still concerned and saddened by their situation - I believe the Co-op ethos is a good one.

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Multiple bank accounts?

      "I believe the Co-op ethos is a good one"

      I think you mean was a good one. As someone has pointed out after the Crystal Methodists manglement it ended up being sold to whoever would put up the money to rescue it. The Co-op kicked out the in-store branches and replaced the in-store ATMs with someone else's.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Still down ..

    The personal account online banking is still down at 2104 hours on 04/05/2017

    I can't say I think their in branch and telephone customer service is any good either, time to change bank me thinks!

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    24 hours now

    It was down last night, and is still down. 21:53

    Major SNAFU

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Still down

    You have fallen for their fibs about being up at 1pm. Been down all day for me, still down at 21:30. No message on website, just redirects back to home page silently if you try and access account. No explanation, no apology. Not even a pinned tweet on their twitter as they are trying to cover this up. Only clue is looking their helpline twitter replies. For a laugh try online help: "a team member will be available in 2256 minutes"

    Even by Co-op banks usual "amateur hour" standards this is bad, Totally unfit for purpose. Unable to access my account all day, unable to get to anyone on telephone banking. If only this were the first time. Should really be an FSA investigation into their negligent systems management, cover ups and total lack of transparency when they regularly fsck up. Love their ethical banking stance, but their dodgy systems and frankly dishonest handling of problems is way out at the other end of the spectrum.

    1. Tom Paine Silver badge

      Re: Still down

      Should really be an FSA investigation into their negligent systems management, cover ups and total lack of transparency when they regularly fsck up.

      Any significant outage of core customer services at a retail bank triggers mandatory disclosure to the PRA (who regulate banks, not the FCA)

  15. cosymart
    FAIL

    Unplugged

    I bailed out when they closed the nearest branch to my home address. The next nearest, open branch, would have entailed a 40 mile round trip. Guess which branch has just been slated for closure :-( Co-op bank is now a creeping death.

    1. Tom Paine Silver badge

      Re: Unplugged

      The small town in the homne counties where I live has a Nat West and a Barclays. When I took a small amount of cash savings (£150 in hoarded small change) down to find some sort of savings account more secure than a shoebox under the bed, Barclays' required a f2f appointment with someone who wouldn't be visiting the branch for three weeks ("We'll make you an appointment" "Er, no thanks, not to worry") and the cashier at the Nat West went away for 10 mins before returning with a sheaf of printouts from the website saying "apparently we don't sell ISAs any more".

      Luckily there's an old fashioned small regional mutalised Building Society further down the street,. I've even got a 1980s style passbook in a little plastic cover. AND the staff seemed able to behave like human beings rather than terrified corporate drones! It's the future of savings, I reckon, or will be when that comes back into fashion after interest rates hit 7% and servicing all those personal loans eats people's incomes...

      1. wolfetone Silver badge

        Re: Unplugged

        "...or will be when that comes back into fashion after interest rates hit 7% and servicing all those personal loans eats people's incomes..."

        Thing is the people of the UK are that overloaded with debt already that even a rise in interest rates to 1% would see a lot of the UK default and the economy would just dive head first off a cliff. So to go to 7% after 7+ years of sub 0.5% won't happen for a good long time yet.

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