back to article Co-op Bank's users moan over online wobbles

The Co-op Bank's online service appears to be experiencing wobbles as customers complain they can't get in. Over 100 folks in the UK have reported problems with the website and online banking since 10:10 UTC on Although the website homepage and many other links appear accessible, attempts to sign into online …

  1. This post has been deleted by its author

  2. manchesterj

    Oh dear

    Unsurprisingly Smile is also down/not responding, so less to smile about......

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Banked with Smile for years

    Pretty much since when they were first created.

    Then I worked at the Co-op bank.

    I moved my accounts sharpish after that.

    1. breakfast

      Re: Banked with Smile for years

      Literally still with Smile only out of pure laziness and because it's hard to find a bank that has any positive qualities. Sifting through looking for the least bad option is not great fun, but I increasingly mistrust Co-op with my money, especially after having them as an electricity provider and they are SO BAD.

      1. Cederic

        electricity provider

        You do realise that the Co-operative Banking Group and the co-operative behind the Co-op Power brand are different co-operatives?

        Co-op Energy is Mid-counties Co-operative. Co-operative Banking Group were part of Co-operative Wholesale Society; sod knows who owns them these days.

        The co-operative movement likes to proclaim it's one big friendly family but these are distinct and distinctly owned businesses.

        1. breakfast

          Re: electricity provider

          Of course, but there seems to be a pattern of being very poorly run. I mean the co-op bank had a drug crazed nutter of a chief executive for ages, the electricity provider have assured us that the only way to resolve a very simple customer query is to go to the ombudsman and you can go into almost any co-op shop of any size and they will not have the thing you want to buy, regardless of what that thing is.

          I like the theory of the co-operative movement, but the practice seems to be inept at a very profound level.

          1. This post has been deleted by its author

      2. Chasola

        Re: Banked with Smile for years

        I'm also with Smile and Co-op electricity.

        I've thought about moving banks but Smile has always been brilliant and is rightly held in high regard by its customers.

        I do get bored with the rent boy stories.

        The real reason the Co-op Bank got into trouble was due to bad debts being deliberately hidden in Brittanias books and this not being picked up by the auditors (PWC?).

        I could be wrong about which accountants it was.

        Anyway it wasn't the Co-op that brought about the collapse of the whole international banking system and it was the only bank that rescued itself without recourse to the public purse.

        Anyway where else is decent with any sort of reasonable ethics TSB? Nationwide?

        Those are the two that I'm thinking of.

        Co-op electricity have been a nightmare, have improved, but are still very troublesome.

        Mainly due to rubbish IT but they are getting better.

        But Co-op Electricity is part of East Midlands Co-operative and NOTHING TO DO WITH THE CO-OP BANK.

        In fact the Co-op Bank is no longer Co-operatively owned and should be renamed.

        1. breakfast

          Re: Banked with Smile for years

          And yet if we use two organisations with basically the same name, it is very hard to avoid some degree of mental conflation - humans simply aren't that rational. If the Co-op electricity constantly do a terrible job and make you feel bad about every interaction with them then the term "co-op" gets tied into that and you start to look for the bad in every other interaction associated with it, in my case that is the banking.

          This is the basics of how branding works. It doesn't matter that they are unrelated legally.

  4. FordPrefect

    I used to be a COOP bank customer back in around 2010. The online was useless as it was always a day behind.

  5. Mark 110 Silver badge


    "The bank completed a legacy systems migration to IBM's platform earlier this year."

    Bit more too it than that. If only you knew!!

    Anyway - the new website was a complete rebuild from ground up, replacing the two old Smile and Coop websites and is hosted differently to the back-end banking systems but still by IBM. Probably about as much as I should say.

    We tested the stuffing out of the resilience and recovery but the backend systems have been moved since we did that and untested points of failure might have snuck in.

    1. Archaon

      Re: Architecture

      @ Mark 110, I am a mere user so am obviously not privy to the internal complexities (aka reality). From my perspective as a user the online banking functions like it's just a re-skin of the previous version. That is to say the current design looks reasonably pretty but is years behind the competition in functionality and in dire need of some HCI consultancy work. As I say - just a customer perspective, I'm well aware that these things just aren't that simple when you dig into them.

      Reliability has been fine for me - but online banking is one of those things that you don't even notice (let alone care) if it's down unless you're actually trying to use it at that exact time.

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: Architecture

        "That is to say the current design looks reasonably pretty"

        Pretty dreadful would be my description. it was obviously designed by someone who'd just bought a load of whitespace going cheap and wanted a punter to unload it to. A browser really ought not have to go full screen to display a small handful of fields.

        I'm not in the least surprised if they ask people to tweet bank details. This is the same crowd that sends out spam looking exactly like phishing spam - says Coop bank in From and Reply to but originates elswhere, asks customers to click on in-spam links which claim to go to their own domain but which resolve to an IP address belonging to the same non-bank domain as the spammer. IOW they're training their customers to be phished. Anyone with the mentality to do this clearly has such a deep ignorance of IT security that they're likely to get phished themselves.

        TL;DR if this was down to some stupid pratt in the bank getting pwned I wouldn't be in the least surprised.

      2. Mark 110 Silver badge

        Re: Architecture

        @Archaon - Minnimum Viable Product - intended to allow them to develop further and faster more easily by getting both Smile and Coop on a common modern platform. I wasn't all that involved in the software side, but there is actually quite a bit of new functionality in there as well as 'the reskin' of the old stuff.

        I'm not a customer but had a play with it on test. Its a banking site. They don't differ too much at the front end in my experience.

  6. Hollerithevo Silver badge

    Coop site usually good

    Aside from one or two down-times, the new Co-op site has been solid as a rock, as far as I am concerned, and telephone support has been great, although with increasingly longer queues. I have been witha few banks and they've been consistently good.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Coop site usually good

      The new site may be solid as a rock (I've never found it offline or unavailable), but that doesn't help me because I've not been able to access it since they suddently added an extra user id to the existing login details, and now I can never remember it when I need it. Am having to rely on the app instead.

      I've never really liked the co-op internet banking, more tolerated it. For example why is there no transaction search?? I'm doomed to have to download the transaction history page by page and search through that. Also, which idiot thought it would be a great idea to display all account movements in the same field with +/- indicators. Any respectable banking site site displays clear cash in / cash out fields which makes it much easier to spot individual payments and to total up either if you need to.

      Update: as of now, the personal banking site returns - "Secure Connection Failed"

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Coop site usually good

      “the new Co-op site has been solid as a rock, as far as I am concerned, and telephone support has been great”

      Um, the cynic in me would like to point out that if the website experience was so great, you wouldn’t have needed the telephone support, no matter how great it was.

  7. Mike Shepherd


    Had a house sale complete today, so would like to move some funds, but...

    Well, I look on the bright side: at least they claim to be "ethical". And perhaps they are (if you overlook the occasional drug-taking and procurement of rent boys by senior management).

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

  8. davenewman

    Looking at Metro and Handelsbank.

    1. Andy Livingstone

      Handelsbanken is great but the fees made me leave .

  9. MachDiamond Silver badge

    Step one

    Don't put all of your money in the bank. Put some wallet sized portraits of Her Majesty in your pocket and a few in the mattress as well. Think of the issue you might have in a cashless world and your bank's computer is down for a day. How about a week due to storm damage or the bank pulled a TEPCO and had their servers in a basement that got flooded.

    Step two,

    Leave your debit card at home and only take with you the amount of cash you expect to need that day. I'm assuming a normal day, but it can be a good move on holiday as well. You insulate yourself from impulse buys and force yourself into a little bit of a budget by not carrying around your entire bank balance with you at all times.

    Lesson, if somebody else has your money, you don't and they might not want to or be able to give it back to you.

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Step one

      Have you any of those nice round pound coins stuffed under your mattress? Or any of those paper portraits of HMQ with £5 written on them?

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    they are not ethical, that are 100% owned by hedgefunds...thats about as ethical as a tory MP.

    Its really all started going to shit when the off shored all the support to india.

    stories of making teams redundant and then asking them to stay on when they realise IBM cant find its own arse, sev1's on most of the systems they took over in the fist couple of weeks. utter farce. and an expensive farce.

    if you have money with them please move it somewhere else

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Alternatives to No-Longer-A-Co-operative Bank

    Some of my friends who used to bank with the Co-op have moved to the apparently ethical Triodos Bank, who have recently started to offer current accounts.

    Personally, I have always found building societies to be rather more trustable to bank with. Unfortunately, all of those who decided to abandon their principles and turn themselves into actual banks either crashed spectacularly or got eaten by larger fish.

    But of the remaining building societies, the only one which does still provide current accounts, Nationwide, are pretty good.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "But of the remaining building societies, the only one which does still provide current accounts, Nationwide, are pretty good." well only if you aren't worried about the security of your personal and account details.

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