back to article Co-op Bank online and mobile banking goes TITSUP*

The Co-op Bank's app and online services are enjoying an extended lie-in today with multiple customers complaining they're locked out. Hundreds of folks in the UK began reporting problems with the website and online banking around 08:01 UTC this morning on downdetector.com. piggy bank Guess who the Co-op Bank chose for £141m …

  1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    The UK really is a marvellous country

    It's the only country in the world where there is on average an online banking snafu every quarter and yet the inhabitants just continue using those same banks.

    I've never heard of the BNP, the Credit Mutuel or the Sogenal having problems with their online banking for years. Does UK banking IT use less reliable hardware, or are UK banking IT managers just not up to the task ?

    1. Aristotles slow and dimwitted horse Silver badge

      Re: The UK really is a marvellous country

      Accountants love cheapness.

      More cheapness == More offshore == more cheap unskilled resources that don't understand legacy decisions or implementations.

    2. fnusnu

      Re: The UK really is a marvellous country

      BNP: https://www.connexionfrance.com/French-news/IT-problem-leaves-tens-of-thousands-of-French-customers-of-BNP-Paribas-bank-unable-to-access-online-services

      CM: https://uk.trustpilot.com/review/creditmutuel.fr

      SG: https://www.ft.com/content/b4b21832-9cda-11e9-b8ce-8b459ed04726

      1. FrogsAndChips Silver badge
        Thumb Down

        Re: The UK really is a marvellous country

        Only the first link is relevant in the context of online/mobile banking issues.

      2. Pascal Monett Silver badge

        Wow, you managed to find one article. Congratulations.

        Now pit that against the dozens of articles on El Reg about UK banks and tell me who is more reliable.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Why shouldn't El Reg focus on our own IT failures?

          We are a World Leader !

          1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

            ...not forgetting that the Co-Op Bank is 70% owned by a US hedge fund nowadays.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The UK really is a marvellous country

      Sadly, most of our banks are now owned by foreign banks who seem to work on the principle that it's not the "home country" so it really doesn't matter...

      And the excuse that it's down to the antiquated hardware and software our banks use is complete garbage because they knew the state of the IT when they took their controlling share - if the situation was so bad that a fool should have seen the problems that would soon occur, what does that say about the executives who were only too pleased to acquire the additional customers... sorry, investment opportunities?

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The UK really is a marvellous country

      ING Direct in Spain has spent the past few months taking a day-long bath about once week with minor 1-2 hour outages filling up the remaining days stopping people logging on or transferring money. It doesn't seem to be making many headlines in the local press though.

      It appears to be linked to their decision to use push notifications to their banking app to allow website access for PSD2, their data centre just can't cope with it.

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The UK really is a marvellous country

      "there is on average an online banking snafu every quarter"

      It's /way/ more frequent than that! :(

      1. Swiss Anton

        Re: The UK really is a marvellous country

        My lumpy mattress gets more and more comfy with every online banking SNAFU.

    6. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

      Re: The UK really is a marvellous country

      I've never heard of the BNP, the Credit Mutuel or the Sogenal having problems with their online banking for years.

      BNP & Sogenal, March 2019:

      Credit Mutuel & CIC, October 2019

      They're just as bad.

      1. Hans 1 Silver badge
        Happy

        Re: The UK really is a marvellous country

        Credit Mutuel & CIC, October 2019 <---- the banks offer mobile phone services, as in, you can get a SIM card from them for your phone, these mobile services were down, customer could no longer call or send SMS messages ... nothing to do with banking going TITSUP.

        Then again, a generous ATM was found in Marseille, spewing x2 of what was requested.

        https://www.francebleu.fr/infos/faits-divers-justice/marseille-un-distributeur-automatique-de-billets-donnait-le-double-de-la-somme-demandee-1575793159

        1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge
          Facepalm

          Re: The UK really is a marvellous country

          "Credit Mutuel & CIC, October 2019 <---- the banks offer mobile phone services, as in, you can get a SIM card from them for your phone, these mobile services were down, customer could no longer call or send SMS messages ... nothing to do with banking going TITSUP."

          Hang on! The bank supplied a SIM which stopped working, so the user could no longer do mobile banking?

    7. Captain Scarlet Silver badge
      Paris Hilton

      Re: The UK really is a marvellous country

      Looks at the address bar

      Spots the domain ends in .co.uk

    8. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: The UK really is a marvellous country

      "BNP, the Credit Mutuel or the Sogenal"

      I'm sure they have even fewer branches here than the usual suspects.

    9. SharkNose

      Re: The UK really is a marvellous country

      There are two factors to consider. Amongst the European and US banks as comparators, the UK had 24x7 payments capability 11 years ago, whereas most European and US banks are only now adding such capabilities. So the expectation of availability was not the same in all cases.

      But certainly UK banks are no worse, and in my experience, are actually a lot better, than most of the European and US competition. You can look across US, Europe, and especially Australia and see many instances of outages.

      1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

        Nothing is perfect, but you're not going to say that the UK hasn't had a bumper crop of outages this year.

        And yet they still have their customers. That boggles the mind.

      2. Muscleguy Silver badge

        Re: The UK really is a marvellous country

        Before you trumpet the UK too much it was and in many ways still is in the dark ages compared to NZ. Long before we left in '93 the ATM's had buttons to enable you to transfer money. So you could use an ATM to transfer money from your savings to your current account for eg. Or if you had both cards with you could pay your credit card bill at the ATM. Also everything was EFTPOS without chips.

        We get to the UK, the ATM's are really dumb machines and we had to remember our signatures all the time as no EFTPOS.

        And in related tech when you drive into a petrol station in NZ you put into the pump exactly how much fuel you want, stick the pump in the tank pull the trigger and lock it and do other stuff like clean the windscreen or just not stand there holding the pump. It finishes dead on then you remove and pay. That is apparently too sophisticated for UK petrol pumps, or something. The tech though definitely exists. Very useful if you are on a limited budget and want just $20 of fuel and no more.

        1. werdsmith Silver badge

          Re: The UK really is a marvellous country

          It’s not too sophisticated for UK pumps, if you look at some of the triggers you can see the little metal catch that keeps the triggers pulled has been removed. I think we don’t do it for some kind of safety reason from when there was a time when pumps were not self service and the transition to self service.

          It compels the person to be in attendance where the highly inflammable liquid is transferring, rather than walk off and leave it. It might not be necessary but at the time when the laws were made it was considered to be.

          If you look at youtube cctv of cars driving off with the pump nozzle still in the car, dragging the pumps and pipes, then tend to be from countries where people can walk off and forget what they were doing.

          Some countries still have full service where an attendant does the filling for you.

          1. paulf Silver badge
            Mushroom

            Re: The UK really is a marvellous country

            There is also the problem when setting the nozzle locked into dispense mode punters tend to go back and sit in the car. When they return to the nozzle they have gained a static electricity charge which then discharges and ignites the fumes from the tank when they touch the nozzle handle. This was the first story I could find that discusses the problem - it seems to be a bigger problem in the US than GB. I'd also suggest that if you're pumping highly explosive liquid, that boils around 23C in the case of Petrol/Gas, at high pressure you really should be 100% focused on that!

            As for pumping a certain amount of fuel - I've seen quite a few Sainsbury's (a UK Supermarket Chain) fuel pumps have buttons to cut off at popular amounts like £10, £20, £50 etc. Not fully custom but it is an easy single button push if that's your thing.

        2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          Re: The UK really is a marvellous country

          "That is apparently too sophisticated for UK petrol pumps,"

          No, they just put the filling data as an overlay on an LCD panel that plays overly loud adverts at you so it's almost impossible to not see the advert and very impossible not to hear it. All the same advert on all the pumps, all out out of sequence because the ad starts when you start to fill up. Looking at you Shell!!!

    10. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The UK really is a marvellous country

      Probably running on Azure

  2. Crisp Silver badge
    Facepalm

    Under investment in infrastructure causes problems

    Well colour me surprised.

  3. Rich 2 Silver badge

    I wouldn't know

    I've been a coop bank customer for donkeys but ever since they updated their phone app earlier this year, I've been unable to use it. For some reason it won't work on an iPhone 5c any more (but apparently works on the 5s (I think that's right) which as far as I know is identical apart from the cosmetics). After waiting for a fix (and yes - they DO know about the problem) I've given up and ordered a new phone.

    And just for the record, Barclaycard has bust their phone app as well in almost the same way.

    Unfortunately the coop have a very crappy record when it comes to their online services.

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: I wouldn't know

      I have no idea why people should be obliged to buy new phones. The government finally obliges banks to offer basic bank accounts and banks come up with yet another way of locking people out. Any mobile website + authenticator app will do the job for a non-card reader solution on a mobile phone. Well yes, I do have an idea, the marketing possibilities are fewer.

    2. Muscleguy Silver badge

      Re: I wouldn't know

      The site doesn't work in Safari either. I have to use Firefox for it since I CANNOT login in Safari. I recently tried to move to paperless statements on my CC but they kept sending me paper statements and no notification emails. Eventually turned out that while the button to go paperless was there in the online account (why I was directed to get an online account, the paper statements were going missing) it wasn't live yet.

      So not only is their IT crap but they don't inform their phone handlers about what is going on either.

  4. macjules Silver badge

    TITSUP?

    One might recall former CEO Paul "The Crystal Methodist" employing rentboys to sniff cocaine off his nipples .. hence I would be wary of the use of TITSUP.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: TITSUP?

      > hence I would be wary of the use of TITSUP

      Total Inability To Snort Upstanding Papillae?

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The Cooperative Bank lost contact with reality many many years ago.

    Around 2009 I took over as treasurer for a charity. I asked Coop Bank for a passcode reset for the organisation's online & telephone banking. I was sent a paper form asking me to fill out the Business Name & Address, my Name and Position in the Organisation, my Signature, The Account Sort Code, Account Number AND THE PROPOSED NEW PASSCODE.

    This was to be returned to them via snailmail.

    I gave them a call to voice my concerns about the security implications of having all the account details and the passcode on one form. Their response was that everyone working for them was trustworthy and this was not a problem.

    I took the organisations banking elsewhere.

    Nothing I've heard since has improved my opinion of them.

    1. Muscleguy Silver badge

      Re: The Cooperative Bank lost contact with reality many many years ago.

      If they are supposed to be sending you a check number by text or email and it hasn't arrived and you click on the send again and they both come the numbers are identical. Clicking the send again button should change the numbers and it does for other banks I use.

    2. werdsmith Silver badge

      Re: The Cooperative Bank lost contact with reality many many years ago.

      I would like to be able to access an ethical mutual sort of banking service, or other services through the coop.

      Unfortunately they are not competitive nor competent.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Security measures

    After all your money is currently invested out of the country.

    You can't access it until it's checked back.

    Just like when you go abroad and, even though they can see you bought a ticket, any transactions come as a complete shock.

  7. AdamWill

    alternative acronym

    Total Inability to Transfer Spondulicks Using Phone?

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Co-operative Bank

    Any idea as to what infrastructure the Co-operative Bank runs on. In my opinion, outsourcing your IT isn't a good sign for a bank, seeing as IT is their core business.

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