back to article Excuses, excuses: Furious MPs probe banking TITSUPs*

MPs have stuck a probe in banking IT crises after an "astonishing" number of failures, saying "measly apologies and hollow words" aren't good enough. The influential Treasury Committee has launched the inquiry off the back of a spate of outages, most notably the TSB meltdown that lasted for almost a week in April. The …

  1. Semtex451 Silver badge
    Pint

    I know about usff PC's, but where can I get one of those wireless Monitors you advertise?

    1. Semtex451 Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Tough audience in tonight again.

    2. BongoJoe

      Sod the wireless monitors, I want one of those invible desks that one can put the keyboard on.

      Send photos first, of course.

  2. David Lewis 2
    Joke

    Pot, meet kettle!

    "..."measly apologies and hollow words" aren't good enough..."

    Why not? It's standard practice for politicians!

    ----> But is it?

    1. NiceCuppaTea

      Re: Pot, meet kettle!

      £100 Compo per 8 hours downtime for each and every customer whether they tried to access the service or not would certainly make IT systems more resilient at the banks.

      1. Roland6 Silver badge

        Re: Pot, meet kettle!

        >would certainly make IT systems more resilient at the banks.

        Probably more cost effective and resilient to re-open the branch infrastructure and close the online banking division...

      2. Version 1.0 Silver badge

        Re: Pot, meet kettle!

        "the outage affected 14,375 customers and that it has already paid out more than £64,000 in compensation." - yes, that's four quid each - much cheaper than fixing the problem.

  3. Julz
    Thumb Down

    Rare Events One And All

    Its as if saving money by not planning your infrastructure to cope with these foreseeable rare events has nothing whatsoever to do with these incidents. Oh, well, at least the boss's bonuses get paid on time.

    1. tfb Silver badge

      Re: Rare Events One And All

      They do plan their infrastructure to deal with such events. But their infrastructure is a chaotic mass of history and complexity which they can't just do a clean-sheet reinvention of because no-one really knows how a lot of it works except that it does, and it is just really, really hard to predict what is going to go wrong as a result.

      1. Mephistro Silver badge
        Thumb Up

        Re: Rare Events One And All (@ tfb)

        This^^^

        I'd also add that, in IT, the last two decades have been like the proverbial train wreck in slo-mo. We're going to hit that Complexity Wall soon. 8^(

        1. tfb Silver badge
          Alien

          Re: Rare Events One And All (@ tfb)

          I'm reasonably old and something I find rather depressing is that I increasingly feel that I just don't understand how modern IT systems work, because there's just layer and layer of complexity. Some of the time I worry that this is because I'm getting Alzheimer's or something, but recently I've become more and more convinced that it's not that: no-one understands these platforms because they are passing beyond the ability of humans to understand. Some people just don't worry about it, is all. That would be OK if the systems were were building were robust and self-managing (if AI was actually a thing rather than a buzzword), but they're not: we're building systems which are both incomprehensibly complex and also fragile. And that's not a good combination.

          (I wanted to get a handle on this so I thought it would be interesting to measure the growth rate of the Linux kernel since it went into git. So I did that, just by line count (not a perfect measure but not awful), and two interesting things became apparent: it's approximately linear, not anything worse (perhaps because Linus is a bottleneck?), but including drivers it's about 4,000 lines a day, with drivers alone being 2,600 (so more than half). And it's grown at this rate this for ten years. Well, the 7th edition Unix kernel is 21,058 lines: the Linux kernel is adding the equivalent of a whole 7th edition kernel every five and a quarter days. And the Linux kernel is a tiny fraction of the code on a single machine, and there are a lot of machines, all with different configurations.)

          1. Stoneshop Silver badge
            Holmes

            Re: Rare Events One And All (@ tfb)

            but recently I've become more and more convinced that it's not that: no-one understands these platforms because they are passing beyond the ability of humans to understand

            How about a Java deployment running in a middleware layer in a virtual machine on some hardware platform somewhere, communicating with other Java deployments running in another middleware layer in other virtual machines on another hardware platform elsewhere, via networks and a message bus implemented in $deity-knows what language and sized several wee bits too small on yet more virtual machines on one more hardware platform somewhere else again. Hardware, message bus, middleware, virtualisation, network and applications are all managed by different groups, so good luck in getting any of them to accept responsibility for lacking performance let alone total failure.

            1. Mephistro Silver badge
              Devil

              Re: Rare Events One And All (@ tfb)(@ Stoneshop)

              And also the issue of writing manuals/documentation, a job position that nowadays seems reserved for interns and low wage employees with absolute zero knowledge of the system, or squeezed by the manglement till their last drop of blood, or even been taken behind the shed and quietly executed with a flamethrower, and their functions transferred to some forum in the Internets, usually run by a combination of volunteers and people who writes funny. The execs are happy with their bonuses, their perceived savings, the lower headcount, the squeezing of IT workers till the last drop of blood, and their replacing with interns.

              Ahhh, so much fun!

              1. Mephistro Silver badge

                Re: Rare Events One And All (@ tfb)(@ Stoneshop)

                Disclaimer: Replying to myself.

                Related anecdote:

                A few months ago I was charged with the job of making a big photocopier 'safe' due to GDPR worries. The administrator's manual had two parts.

                The first one consisted mainly in a rewording of the device's "on screen menu " options. E.G., the "Manage IP settings" in the menu got explained to us mere mortalsadministrators as "Here you can change the IP settings."(Gee! Who would have thought!), and showing a helpful screen capture of the options. No mention of accepted input formats, notation, or even troubleshooting, No workflows -apart from the most basic ones, no examples. It wasn't even accurate, as the printer had undergone several firmware updates. Technical forums were full of comments by very frustrated users.

                The second part included the workings of the drivers and the configuration utility that accompanied them. The machine was made in 2009 and the last manual version was from that same year, although the drivers had gone through so many updates that the contents of the administrator's manual and reality had diverged big time, in most possible ways, over that period.

                I literally "cut my own throat" here, seriously. The alternative would have been to tell my -loyal, nice, - customer to either replace the very expensive copier purchased just 9 years ago and still physically in mint condition or paying me a third of the cost of a new unit for my work. :^(

                I still find hard to believe that I managed to fix that shebang!

                On the other hand I had the moral satisfaction of telling the customer to please never ever buy another product from the -big name- company that had made the photocopier.

                I'm not a photocopier specialist and can't know for sure, but I'm afraid that I'll find this same crap in lots of other 'copier brands and models. Sigh.

                Sorry for the steam venting. :^)

              2. Stoneshop Silver badge
                Headmaster

                Re: Rare Events One And All (@ tfb)(@ Stoneshop)

                And also the issue of writing manuals/documentation, a job position that nowadays seems reserved for interns and low wage employees with absolute zero knowledge of the system,

                ... as well as the language(s) in which it should be written.

              3. JWLong
                WTF?

                Re: Rare Events One And All (@ tfb)(@ Stoneshop)

                What I want to know is, WHY is Ernst&Young (a fucking accounting company) brought in to evaluate an IT problem?

                It's the accountants that nickle and dime every function of IT in the first place.

                1. tfb Silver badge

                  Re: Rare Events One And All (@ tfb)(@ Stoneshop)

                  I think that all the big accountancy firms meet various standards around external audit / conflict of interest (or, well they allow you to say you have complied with the standards: how well the companies actually do is a different questiion), and all the firms have developed tentacles which claim to be good at understanding IT systems (again, whether they are good at it is a different question). So that's why they get used in these cases.

            2. tfb Silver badge

              Re: Rare Events One And All (@ tfb)

              Right, that's what I mean. I look at those things and I get depressed because I am too stupid to understand them. Other people look at them and also don't understand them, but they either don't realise they don't understand it or they just do not care. Because the system is not comprehensible by humans, at all.

            3. Jack of Shadows Silver badge
              Holmes

              Re: Rare Events One And All (@ tfb)

              And... there are damned few people on the planet that can go in and figure how it is all working, let alone how it was supposed to work.

              1. yoganmahew
                Pirate

                Re: Rare Events One And All (@ tfb)

                @tfb

                "their infrastructure is a chaotic mass of history and complexity which they can't just do a clean-sheet reinvention of because no-one really knows how a lot of it works except that it does, and it is just really, really hard to predict what is going to go wrong as a result."

                Going back to your original well made point - the thing is, we see from thebigG, MS, AWS etc. that their infrastructure is also a mess of complexity. I blame (as I suspect you do with pointing to the number of Linux kernel lines) the amount of code being written in ever lower cost, lower experience shops.

                I work in an industry riddled with ancient technology beating up against new tech. I work in old tech and I'm distinctly unimpressed with the new. The chaps programming it care mostly about writing pretty code; they don't care to understand the business, they don't care whether it works or not, just that it is leading edge. Performance is always a hardware problem to them. The languages themselves are opaque and insecure by design. Each environment seems to be hand crafted to be different to every other environment that's gone before. Communications between systems is a black hole fiasco (I suspect the Barclays issue was MQ related, I too have seen roque MQ messages block an entire network as they block every listener and no easy way to spot where the blockage is or where the bad packets are coming from).

                And agile means there's no architecture, no low level technical direction. "As a user I want a banking mobile app that lets me check my account balance". Architecture seems to be limited to specifying components as if bricks, mortar, wood, nails are all all you need to design a house. "As a user I want a shelter that keeps me warm in the winter" - welcome to your brick oven; no windows...

      2. DButch

        Re: Rare Events One And All

        Many years ago the US company I worked for replaced their sales processing system after years of study and development (apparently very little actual testing though). It promptly and very quietly collapsed, which no one realized for almost an entire quarter. We almost had our stock delisted.

        The reason for the collapse? The old sales system had stopped working properly years before, and only appeared to work because a small army of people were hand carrying sales orders around the non-working parts of the old system. Nobody involved in creating the replacement system had, apparently, ever thought to track an order step by step through the old system or asked: "What are all those people carrying sales orders around actually doing?"

      3. Adrian 4 Silver badge

        Re: Rare Events One And All

        @tfb

        That's not planning. If they don't understand why it works, they can't make reasonable predictions of the causes and likelihood of failure.

        I might be able to 'plan' my domestic operations with such a vague idea of efficacy, but if umpteen thousand customers are at risk, they need to do a bit better. If the old systems are unmaintainable, they need to budget for replacements that are.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Rare Events One And All

          "That would be OK if the systems were were building were robust and self-managing [...]"

          Would it? My guess is that problems would be even more difficult - if not impossible - to unravel.

          The Machine Stops a prescient story by E.M.Forster published in 1909.

          1. jumpyjoe

            Re: Rare Events One And All

            Thanks for that. I enjoyed reading it.

        2. tfb Silver badge

          Re: Rare Events One And All

          It is planning.

          Firstly they do, of course have a better understanding of how a lot of it works than I made out.

          Secondly they try to build a culture which is about being good at making changes only in a very controlled way and knowing how to back the changes out, and where people understand that maintaining service is what matters. Indoctrinating people in this culture is a really big deal: it took me quite a long time to understand how people thought and I'm extremely careful and paranoid: if you take some graduate with a CS background they're generally just not going to understand what the issues are, at all. Sometimes these cultures fail horribly: TSB seem to be a really good example of that -- I think it would be very interesting to know how they got to the point where deploying the new system went ahead because there had obviously been some catastrophic cultural failure by the time they'd got there. What happened at TSB smells like kind of the same thing that caused the STS-51-L launch to go ahead (It probably did not kill as many people, but banking failures do kill people, just not physically). In cases where I've witnessed changes which were of similar magnitude & ill-advisedness there was inevitably some meeting of senior people on the Thursday before the change when it was decided not to go ahead because the risk was too high: the culture worked, in other words.

          Thirdly people can get very good at mending systems they don't fully understand: I don't understand the details of how my cat works inside, but I know that the food bowl needs to be kept reasonably full and if it's not bad things will happen and also what to do when he starts scratching himself too much, and even in more serious cases. Similarly I might not really know what some collection of machines does but I know that two of them run Oracle databases and I understand how to keep those databases happy (I don't actually, but I know someone who does: sort of Oracle Vet).

          Finally it's not about replacing unmaintainable systems with maintainable ones in general. No-one knows how to write very complex maintainable systems which are robust in the way they need to be: some people claim to but they are either lying or confused, and often both. And in the case where there is a new, more maintainable system in the wings, then the process of getting from here to there while not impacting service is a really, really hard problem (again, witness TSB, although in this case it looks as if the new system was probably not better).

    2. Roland6 Silver badge

      Re: Rare Events One And All

      >Its as if saving money by not planning your infrastructure to cope with these foreseeable rare events has nothing whatsoever to do with these incidents.

      It is foreseeable that your house might be burnt down, have you planned for this eventuality beyond purchasing an insurance policy?

      What is particularly noteworthy is how it seems to have escaped the politicians that the spate of single event outages at: Visa, Barclays, RBS, TSB, HSBC and Cashplus is very different to 6 outages at one bank in the same period.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Motes and beams

    I worked in banking IT for a fairly long time. Given what they are dealing with -- more than forty years worth of IT legacy with the detritus left over from acquisitions and mergers and periods of insane growth -- they don't do that badly. But if you have anything other than terror about what is inevitably, at some point, going to happen you're probably not thinking hard enough. I simply don't believe that many major retail banks could survive a full-scale DR if they lost one of their data centres in some kind of plane-flies-into-it style event, for instance.

    But wait, I now work in a bit of the government where critical national-security computing happens (not all of it is, some is very). We have two data centres too. Which are several yards from each other, and several yards from where all the people work, and under a flight path. And this organisation has a lot of data (really, a lot). Are there off-site backups for this data? Don't be silly, it would be really expensive to do that, and nothing bad will ever happen to it, because nothing bad ever has happened, and, um, sparkly unicorns or is it glitter elves, I forget. And the internal IT security is what you'd expect. And they are not interested in making things better: I have been told, in so many words, not to raise awkward questions about security (unfortunately the person who did this was clever enough to do it verbally).

    It's all just a fucking joke: the banks are trying to get better, even if they are often failing. This place is sitting in a cloud of idiot complacency. And I'm willing to bet this place is no more shit than a lot of other government-related IT, and probably less shit.

    [AC for fairly obvious reasons.]

    1. Alister Silver badge

      Re: Motes and beams

      @AC

      Nice rant!

      Are there off-site backups for this data? Don't be silly, it would be really expensive to do that, and nothing bad will ever happen to it, because nothing bad ever has happened, and, um, sparkly unicorns or is it glitter elves, I forget.

      I Lol'd.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Motes and beams

        Well, it was a rant, yes, because I'm just fed up with being ignored by said organisation (which, BTW, the bank I worked for never did). But seriously, I'd like to live in a world where I have some confidence that at some point in my lifetime (and I'm not young) a really, really bad IT-related event is not going to happen, and I don't live in that world.

        (It may be even that the first of such events has already happened, although I don't think we know enough about what whoever it was did to fuck with elections to know yet.)

        1. Semtex451 Silver badge
          Pint

          Re: Motes and beams

          Right there with you, have a pint on me.

      2. Dr Scrum Master
        Mushroom

        Re: Motes and beams

        Are there off-site backups for this data? Don't be silly, it would be really expensive to do that, and nothing bad will ever happen to it, because nothing bad ever has happened, and, um, sparkly unicorns or is it glitter elves, I forget.

        Ah yes, Buncefield etc were just dreams

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Motes and beams

          I was really thinking of a drive-a-truck-full-of-whatever-into-the-DC type attack but, yes, big accident would also be a thing.

          My assumption is that what will actually happen is the bad people are already in the infrastructure and at the appropriate moment the whole thing will just vanish in a cloud of bits. Because I could have done that, so I'm sure the bad people can.

    2. anothercynic Silver badge

      Re: Motes and beams

      My commiserations, dear Anon. I feel your pain. I stayed in government IT for a very short time because I would have lost my rag (and job) a long time ago if I hadn't... It is somewhat worrying. :-/

      1. Adrian 4 Silver badge

        Re: Motes and beams

        Blow the whistle.

        Your bosses might object, but it would be immoral not to.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Motes and beams

          I'm writing a paper.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Motes and beams

      "We have two data centres too. Which are several yards from each other, and several yards from where all the people work, and under a flight path."

      Twenty years ago one of my customers explained that they had their two data centres on an airport approach path. However they considered them sufficiently sideways spaced that no one plane crash would take them both out.

      Another customer wanted resilient comms links. They accepted the only feasible solution currently available to meet their budget - even though it had a declared common mode weakness if a particular BT microwave tower went out of action. Then came a big storm and a BT microwave tower collapsed..... yep - that one.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Motes and beams

      > I simply don't believe that many major retail banks could survive a full-scale DR if they lost one of their data centres in some kind of plane-flies-into-it style event, for instance.

      Ours could, depending on the affected DC :D

      The problem these days is that management and sales promise things sooner than they can be robustly implemented, because "agile". Thus a lot of things are still buggy when they hit production, cue frantic rollbacks front, left and center (when it's possible at all, of course).

      At least we managed to avoid any major loss of service so far, but we are often on the verge.

      1. Roland6 Silver badge

        Re: Motes and beams

        >> I simply don't believe that many major retail banks could survive a full-scale DR if they lost one of their data centres in some kind of plane-flies-into-it style event, for instance.

        Ours could, depending on the affected DC :D

        From my experience, whilst many companies can survive the plane-landing-on-datacentre - because someone has thought about it, they have great difficulty in surviving events (eg. a bomb going off - an event not unknown in the city of London during the 80's and 90's) that prevent usage of head office or similar key office location.

        1. ElReg!comments!Pierre Silver badge
          Pirate

          Re: Motes and beams

          they have great difficulty in surviving events that prevent usage of head office or similar key office location

          Ha, but that would be why we have sophisticated access control with impressive turnstiles at every point of entry on "office" sites *. Only the card-carrying permanent employees can access the premises. Well, the externalized staff too of course, but that's barely half the workforce. Oh, and the cleaning staff also, who may or may not speak the language at all and may or may not share a couple access badges among the 10 of them. And anyone wearing a high-visibility jacket and carrying a toolbox of course, because no one wants to upset management by preventing the limited-access loo on 13th floor from being fixed ASAP.

          Security, as seen by the higher-ups, is often anything showy that won't interfere with their bad practices in any way. While poking a bit in a playful manner, I recently found out that we have a specific rule on our firewalls that prevents IT people from accessing known webmail sites. Sensible, you'd think it's there to avoid unfortunate leaks and mitigate spearfishing attacks. BUT it only blocks IPs associated with IT ... Similarly, while we enjoy unfettered access to Youtube, I found I had to file a request to have access to IBM's official Z/OS documentation. It had been flagged as sensitive ...

          * The DCs have a 3-step procedure complete with ramcar-proof barriers, guard dogs, and bulletproof glass, but of course you can't subject management to such a rude welcome.

    5. eldakka Silver badge

      Re: Motes and beams

      And they are not interested in making things better: I have been told, in so many words, not to raise awkward questions about security (unfortunately the person who did this was clever enough to do it verbally).

      If they aren't someone who has authority to give you such an instruction - someone in your chain of command, i.e. you manager, you managers manager, or your managers mangers manager (and so on until the ultimate authority which for a government agency would be the civil servant that leads the organisation (e.g. secretary, permanent secretary, etc) or the relevant minister responsible for that organisation - then it didn't happen and you are under no obligation to listen to them. If they are in your chain of command, if the instruction wasn't given in writing, then again, it didn't happen and you are under no obligation to go along with it. Tell them to either give you an explicit direction, in writing, or to kindly fuck off.

      1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

        Re: Tell them to either give you an explicit direction, in writing, or to kindly fuck off

        Easy for you to say, you're not going to lose your job if he does.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Motes and beams

        I know this is right, but I'm also not up for the fight, so I just sat there getting depressed about it until I evenhally quit. I know this is not a good answer, but, well, not everyone is the hero, and in particular not me,

  5. circusmole

    Natwest...

    ...denied me access to my Natwest credit card account for about 5 days last week. When I called them they told me they knew all about it - well why the fcuk didn't you tell me Natwest? They said it was quite a widespread problem.

    BTW - it was only after the 4th phone call that they admitted to the problem.

  6. macjules Silver badge

    TITSUP?

    Total Inability To Save Users Pounds

    TSB was founded as Trustee Savings Bank .. seems to have dismally failed at all 3.

  7. cantankerous swineherd Silver badge

    politicians grandstanding and emitting hot air, signifying nothing.

  8. All names Taken
    Paris Hilton

    Get real, get pragmatic?

    Some time things happen. And the happening should might not be in any one's KPI good list but it happens.

    Why MPs should try to anti-eulogise on this theme seems a bit daft to me.

  9. Vanir

    Climate change

    The signs are there, more each year.

    More IT failures, large environmental IT failures.

    When modern IT systems are reliant on old legacy systems the resutant system is a bigger legacy system.

    This is problematic as the people who specify and design - don't laugh - modern systems usually do not undertand the legacy systems that their systems rely on.

    And the people who do understand the legacy systems, the people who built them and maintained them, have long since been removed from the environment.

    All the old trees have been cut down and the soil is eroding away.

  10. A.P. Veening

    Apologies and next time

    "all issued apologies and promises to do better next time"

    Just make damned sure there is no next time, you have to do better now.

  11. Anonymous South African Coward Silver badge

    All the old trees have been cut down and the soil is eroding away.

    IBM?

  12. Anonymous South African Coward Silver badge

    When a bank starts up, it have a simple system. Which requires x amoint of people to maintain.

    Over time it is discovered that this system only offer functions A, B, C and D.

    And it needs extra systems to offer extra functions. So these got added duly.

    Unfortunately said new systems also needs its own maintenance, so therefore extra people.

    Which brings us to the here and the now. People have forgotten why there are so many people requires in order to maintain the system, and is lured by the outsourcing siren, and start outsourcing.

    Now systems are failing, people don't know why, the outsourcer(s) don't give a damn about your SLA... and the people who have an intimate knowledge how the system works have been chased away, never to return.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      What happened to Systems Analysts?

      That rings true in my experience apart from the SLA bit, but that's concern about the SLA (which impacts on performance /reward) not concern about the poor customers. Also agree with earlier comments about documentation and what happened to Systems Analysts & their disciplines...

  13. Marketing Hack Silver badge
    WTF?

    Perhaps all the banking system crashes are affecting MP's expense reimbursement??

    That would explain the consternation in Westminster.

  14. chronicdashedgehog

    You may be able to fool MPs with talk of 'corrupt messages' but we all know it was just duff change control and risk management

  15. Lotaresco Silver badge

    Beancounters don't want to see the obvious.

    Over a decade ago I was appointed by a client to look at the resilience of their operations. They wanted proper 24/7 always on operation but they had a single data centre and that was handily located under the final approach to "a major airport". The "backup strategy" consisted of making tapes stored locally, some of which were migrated to a "secure location". From time to time. I wrote a report detailing the flaws in their approach. Surprisingly they took it quite well and decided to spend the big bucks creating a second data centre to provide remote backup and failover. That was also situated at the end of a runway.

    I pointed out that this was just the same as their current, flawed, installation and got the message "Don't be silly, what are the chances of having two crashes on the same day?"

    At the planning stage it was zero cost to ensure that both DCs had different risk profiles. In fact a very good location (old nuclear bunker) had just come up for sale which would have cost a fraction of the price of the new build that they did. However that had been rejected because it was in a location that didn't attract government grants; even though with the grants the new build option was still more expensive.

  16. Andy The Hat Silver badge

    What's now interesting is that you cannot even apply for a current account without access to the internet. Either via branch (they fill in the form), by telephone (they fill in the form) or on the internet directly. I have an elderly relation who needs an account, is not good on the phone and is infirm and already two organisations have refused ... one suggested 'the rules' mean it has to be done 'in person' despite me pointing out that 'by phone' wasn't in person and they then admitting that the generated form is sent by post for customer signature anyway ... doh!

    The whole banking system is tied to computer systems to reduce cost and maximise profit NOT for the benefit or security of the customer. It means that if the system/network/power/infrastructure fails at any point there is NO paper alternative ...

    What is the purpose of these stress tests other than to show that the banks themselves won't lose out and/or to demonstrate the banks are NOT put in the situation where those with money in the bank have any control over that money (ie if the banks take money they have to actually have a legal duty to give it back which could allow a run on the banks)?

    Some say I'm getting cynical ...

  17. LucreLout Silver badge

    Must do better

    CEO Jes Staley kicked off (PDF) by downplaying the incident as a "partial system disruption" affecting "some" customers. He apologised for the glitch, but leaned on the fact that "no hardware or software can be 100 per cent fail safe".

    Well, Jes, had Barclays put a little less energy into offshoring everything in sight, and a little more energy into retaining and motivating your competent staff, they wouldn't all have left the company. That you've nobody good left is a situation of your own making. It wasn't that long ago that St Anthony's leadership team could be heard proclaiming "This is an employers market and we intend to leverage that". They were warned how that'd end, but did they listen? Nope, and I'd bet they haven't learned much from it either.

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2019