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Old 06-23-2012, 01:08 PM   #1
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Snidely Undeclared UK bank holiday?

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Over the past week, various entities controlled by bailed out UK-bank RBS, focusing primarily on NatWest, have seen clients unable to access virtually any of their funds, perform any financial transactions, or even get an accurate reading of their assets. The official reason: "system outage"... yet as the outage drags on inexplicably for the 5th consecutive day, the anger grows, as does speculation that there may be more sinister reasons involved for the cash hold up than a mere computer bug.
...
More: http://www.zerohedge.com/news/rbs-at...sues-statement
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Old 06-23-2012, 01:35 PM   #2
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it actually seems to be more like a simple fuck up with a system 'upgrade'

the fault got fixed fairly quickly but a whole bunch of in and out transactions got LOST in the meantime, including peoples wages, property deals and many small transactions

ie all levels of business including interbank.

and now they are trying to asess every apparent failed transaction by looking at a paper trail of evidence ........

A pretty serious cock up but probably not a 'bank holiday' in our terms, as they are staying open all weekend to interface with unhappy customers and study their bits of paper.

An unplanned effect will be a further awakening for many when they realise how tenuous their connection is with those digits and the start of a slow burn bank run.
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Old 06-23-2012, 01:48 PM   #3
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That would pretty much suck. If you didn't have a good credit limit, you would be screwed.
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Old 06-23-2012, 01:59 PM   #4
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yes, those with the least are hurt the most.

Stories about families unable to buy food and travellers around the world who couldnt pay for the flight, hotel, food ........... and a 6 hour wait on the 'help' line

If i was a stock trader i think i would be shorting RBS.
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Old 06-24-2012, 12:58 PM   #5
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hmmm

a comment from someone in Ireland on Turds site -


Quote :
Submitted by Number 47 on June 23, 2012 - 2:23pm.

I am affected by this, at the moment we have no access to wages, they are not in our accounts. I can go to the branch but the maximum withdrawal is 500 euros.

They have no idea of our balance, all transactions are on paper and will be processed later. The latest news is that it will not be fixed by Monday. This means a week of confusion for folks.

Many are stranded abroad with no access to cash. ATMs are working for some but mainly not. Debit and credit cards not working and access to online services is unreliable. Even when accessible the figures cannot be trusted.

There will be a mass exodus from these banks when they get sorted.

I used to be 90% against digital currency. Now 100%.

The media is not covering this much over here. One thing that has surprised me, reading the comments on the news sites, quite a lot of people talking about gold and silver. Things like this are waking people up. Most think there is more to this than meets the eye, I personally believe RBS got a margin call when downgraded. 12 million people lost their wages for a few days. Coincidence?

The level of trust was low before, judging from comments and forums the trust is now completely gone. I think this will cause more people to prepare.

Will try to keep updating what is going on here. When I went to the branch yesterday it was chaos. Will be interesting to see the fallout if this is not resolved by next week. There were reports of queues outside banks in Dublin on Friday. This could have the potential to start a run on RBS and its subsidiaries.

All in all, an epic feck up.
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Old 06-24-2012, 01:20 PM   #6
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...


Allyrmony rblong2rbs!
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Old 06-24-2012, 02:14 PM   #7
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That shows you how we rely on the computers and their correctness. Not just at the bank, but there and everywhere in between. It is fairly scary.
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Old 06-24-2012, 03:30 PM   #8
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and heres another comment ( its getting a lot of attention at TFmetals )

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RBS, NatWest etc. SORRY BUT NFWAY
Submitted by 57Goldtop on June 24, 2012 - 11:31am.
OK, I simply don't believe this can possibly be an IT accident. And let's be clear, we're talking software. So with apologies, this piece is about enterprise IT practices.

For at least 20 years, all major financial institutions have used Change Management procedures that include a backout plan with software assets (i.e. the 'old' version of the code) and step by step procedures. There is a cutoff time: "If the change is not verified to be stable in production by 3:30 am, stop the implementation and invoke this backout procedure which includes immediate escalation to Management and the sorry SOB who prepared the change. If the backout and resumption cannot be assured by start-of-business, escalate to SENIOR Management and Corporate Communications. Invoke the appropriate DRP, BRP, etc."

When combined with data backups (near-real-time/incremental, daily, weekly, monthly, onsite/offsite, etc.) and a variety of accounting reconciliation steps, this would have been caught, backed out, and restored before business opened the next day and customers would have never known. Had IT's availability stats been impacted in ANY WAY, some person or people would face serious and often irreparable career damage.

If it was somehow related to an Operating System issue, multiple this sensitivity to backout rigor by 100. That mainframe's running quite an O/S and it is very modern!

The IT staff would have had a review of their Quality Assurance and Change Management procedures before end of day. This was absolutely standard long before the introduction of Sarbanes-Oxley (which merely made long-standard practice a costly pain in the bank's arse and allowed the big consulting organizations to rape the system for more billions).

The massive number of systems in a bank's IT empire are so interrelated that they have to start and end any nightly batch processing in very narrow time frames in a prescribed sequence. Something like, first we process the inter-bank transfers coming in by midnight, then we distribute to the Checking and Savings accounts by 1am, then we take payments from those accounts for Loans and Mortgages by 2am, then we update the feeds going to the credit bureaus by 3am, etc.

Yes, real-time processing has reduced batch processing and reconciliation and spread it out over more of the day, but there is still a ton of overnight complexity. Consequently, each system has an incredibly narrow 'change window' for software changes that starts after its piece in the above sequence is verified to be complete. And sorry but outsourcing doesn't fundamentally change any of this other than the economic model. Nor does the fact that it's European, because their big IT practices are comparatively good.

if your eyes glazed over with the IT stuff, start reading again here...

The story being fed to us by the bank and the media is bullshit. When combined with the timing of the crisis and RBS' downgrade, it's total effing bullshit.

Nope, this is either fraud (covering a series of margin calls with 47's money) or cyber attack. If the latter, my gut tells me false-flag cyber attack because the timing's far too convenient.

I am in no way defending the banksters or bad IT people, but most of the people running technology in these companies are seriously talented professionals who are victims of this financial mess just like us Turdites.

So if everything gets 'fixed' and the wee IT glitch is overcome, I'm calling it fraud.

If the PTB leak 'cyber attack' rumors, I'm calling it a false-flag.

As of right now, I'm calling it a load of hogwash.

[Almost went all Andy Hoffman on y'all. Protect yourself and DO IT NOW!] lol
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Old 06-24-2012, 04:16 PM   #9
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ok last one -
consensus tending towards giant cock up ........

Quote :
RBS technical analysis
Submitted by Erewhon888 on June 24, 2012 - 4:17pm.
Since some posters are interested in the gory details of the RBS debacle, you might want to track the insider stories at http://forums.theregister.co.uk/foru...ge_fourth_day/ where several of the staff made redundant are spilling the beans on ancient assembler programs now unsupportable since any experienced staff were made redundant at the time of the outsourcing to India.

Typical post from someone who:

for very obvious reasons having been one of the recent 1000+ to find their roles now being done from Chennai, however I have been speaking to a few ex-colleagues who are still there and can confirm that they say the same as the above poster as in a CA7 upgrade was done, went horribly wrong, and was then backed out (which will have been done in typical RBS style - 12 hours of conference calls before letting the techie do what they suggested at the very start). My understanding is that most if not all of the batch team were let go and replaced with people from India and I do remember them complaining that they were having to pass 10-20+ years worth of mainframe knowledge on to people who'd never heard of a mainframe outside of a museum.

Here's another one. Note the optimistic final sentence.

I worked for RBS during and after the merger with Natwest, I left their Global Financial Markets Department in 2004 after a 5 year stint. They had already moved some IT functions to India at that point and have continued to do so year on year since. The numbers some people are quoting 1600/800 are possibly the more recent figures, the total is way way beyond this.

...

The chaps I trained out in India were nice enough, but they simply lacked the knowledge and experience of Finacial Markets trading, trade and settlement processing, Swift messaging blah blah and the risks involved.

I'll be drinking with a bunch of ex RBS/Natwesties soon enough, where we'll all be saying.....

"WE TOLD YOU SO!!!!!!!"

I doubt any senior manager in RBS/NW is going to say the outsourcing was to blame and change anything significant.

Over the next 10 years, I would expect this sort of failure to happen to virtually all the big UK banks
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Old 06-25-2012, 04:02 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by rblong2us View Post:
it actually seems to be more like a simple fuck up with a system 'upgrade'
If this is the case, then this could be the result of ignoring the following rule:

Quote :
IF IT AIN'T BROKEN, DON'T FIX IT.
And if it was broken, then ONLY FIX WHAT NEEDS TO BE FIXED AND NOTHING MORE.

Every IT backroom in the world seems to think that everyone wants the latest and greatest computer systems and programs, when the user wants ONLY one thing, SOMETHING THAT WORKS.

Any perusal of the internet, be it webpages, email, or whatever, will yield millions of broken applications because someone needed to justify their existence by CONTINUOUSLY fixing things that ain't broken. And every time they fix things that are not broken, they break something somewhere else.

The same problems exist in most businesses where they keep fixing things that worked well for decades and now do not work at all.

For example, the Portland Oregon Water Bureau fixed their billing systems a few years ago. They spent over 30 million dollars for new billing programs. After FIVE years of manufacturers representatives "living" at the Water Bureau trying to get the programs to work correctly, the Water Bureau finally scrapped the complete system and started over from scratch. In the process ten of thousands of water bills were lost, were incorrect, were late, were everything that you could imagine. Some people did not get a water bill for YEARS, and of those that did get a bill the vast majority were wrong, late, or double/triple billed. And all the Water Bureau NEEDED to do was add ONE process to their existing system to tax the rainwater falling on each property in Portland. Now I know there were probably many "reasons" to start from scratch, but it seems to me that INCREMENTALLY upgrading would have been a whole lot cheaper and less hassle in the long run. Sure it would not have been the latest and greatest systems and software in the world, BUT it would have WORKED.

One of the results is that even though Portland does not treat its drinking water (rainwater is gravity piped in from the mountains 50 miles east, no fluorine, no chlorine) and therefore does not have the expense of a water treatment plant that most cities have, Portland has one of the highest costs for city water anywhere in the U.S., so high that water intensive industries are leaving or do not go there at all.

The flip side of the coin to this banking "system failure" could be as others have stated - maybe this was a planned outage for selfish internal reasons and software is the convenient scapegoat.

Either way, the current generation of bank customers there have had their wake up call as to how fragile the system is, or how easy it is to manipulate if the bank is having problems. The bank will take a big hit for this and will not fully recover until the next generation of customers is on board, which could take a decade or more.

Big plus = More people are waking up to the fragility of using electrons for money. Unfortunately, the majority of them will go back to sleep until they are re-awakened by another "system failure" in their monetary life.
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Old 06-26-2012, 04:38 PM   #11
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i was sooooo tempted today .........

dinner time in a queue at the bank to draw out some cash.
It was fairly busy, eventually it was my turn and i asked if i could withdraw the daily maximum,
to which they responded - yes ok , what do you want the money for ?

i wanted to loudly say, 'havent you heard theres a bank run started and i want to be ahead of the rush'

but i lamely whispered 'new bike' )-:
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Old 06-26-2012, 04:53 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by rblong2us View Post:
i was sooooo tempted today .........

dinner time in a queue at the bank to draw out some cash.
It was fairly busy, eventually it was my turn and i asked if i could withdraw the daily maximum,
to which they responded - yes ok , what do you want the money for ?

i wanted to loudly say, 'havent you heard theres a bank run started and i want to be ahead of the rush'

but i lamely whispered 'new bike' )-:
And tomorrow your answer will be "because I wrecked my new bike"

Whenever I have dealt with large sums of cash, the tellers are always very carefule not to ask what is going on. I find it funny.
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Old 06-26-2012, 07:19 PM   #13
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Ummmm.........................fuck it .....................get it now! If you have money in the Euro system, get it out or get crushed.

Gold, silver, guns and grub. I'm just saying..........
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Old 06-27-2012, 09:41 AM   #14
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That is funny, it is quite bold to ask you "what is it for"?? None of your business, sir, what I plan to do with money you owe me - that would be my answer. Ridiculous.

Well if they insist, I'd maybe hint at hookers and gambling, just to make my point.
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Old 06-27-2012, 10:18 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by rblong2us View Post:
... yes ok , what do you want the money for ?
...
To have and to hold, from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, until death do us part.

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Old 06-27-2012, 10:35 AM   #16
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Things I need the money for:

1) Fireplace kindling

2) rolling a "cigarette"

3) Matress stuffing

4) I am all out of toilet paper

5) I need to test out my new shedder

6) Your girlfriend doesn't come cheap

7) The UFOs won't leave me alone unless I pay them off

8) I want it all in pennies, so I can pay my taxes

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Old 07-04-2012, 04:50 PM   #17
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locked out of their bank accounts for a month !


http://www.guardian.co.uk/money/2012...?newsfeed=true


Customers of Ulster Bank could end up going without a fully functioning bank account for an entire month, the bank's parent company Royal Bank of Scotland admitted on Wednesday.

More than a fortnight after a technical problem sent the bank's computers into disarray, many customers are still experiencing difficulties accessing accounts and processing payments, with some reporting that vast sums of money have disappeared in the system.

On Monday, RBS said it could be several days before Ulster Bank was back to normal, but now it warns it could now take another two weeks before all accounts are operating properly.

In a statement RBS said it expected next week to be the final week of "significant delays", but warned that some customers could still be experiencing problems almost a month after the original fault.

"It is our expectation that by the week of the 16 July the vast majority of customers will return to a normal service, barring any residual reconciliation required," it said.

It was important to note, RBS added, that "it is not, and has never been, the case that all Ulster Bank services are unavailable", pointing out that it had now cleared payments "which will allow customers to see a material improvement in the information they have".

Among Ulster Bank's more than 100,000 customers is James Conlon, a businessman, who told the BBC that £50,000 of payments to his firm had not been credited to his account. That money has now turned up, but other customers are still waiting for their money.

On Twitter, a user writing under the name JoooyG wrote: "Oh thanks ulster bank for my credit card statement … It would help if you decided to put my wages from 2 weeks ago into my account first."

The chief executive of Ulster Bank, Jim Brown, apologised to customers, who he said had every right to be frustrated, adding: "Our efforts to fix this are paying off, and over the last few days we have been able to gain a much clearer picture about when we expect all systems to be largely back to normal.

"We expect gradual and significant improvements for our customers and each day we will see more transactions processing, fewer problems with our systems, and less inconvenience for our customers." Brown thanked other banks who had worked with his own to help process payments.

Northern Irish politicians are meeting the RBS chairman, Sir Philip Hampton, to discuss the situation.

The Democratic Unionist Party deputy leader, Nigel Dodds, who is leading the delegation said: "Thousands of people across Northern Ireland are experiencing severe difficulties because of the long-running saga in Ulster Bank.

"Customers have been particularly angered by the silence which has emanated from Ulster Bank during this crisis."

Dodds said customers were angry that it appeared NatWest customers had been prioritised as the bank attempted to clear the backlog of payments.

Accounts are supposed to be up and running again as normal at NatWest and RBS, but customers have been told to check their balances after it emerged that some had personal loan repayments debited twice.

Also, on NatWest's website several customers are reporting that cheques paid into accounts on 25 June have still not cleared.
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Old 07-04-2012, 05:11 PM   #18
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What a total clusterfuck. Don't leave any funds in your bank that you can't live without.
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Old 07-04-2012, 05:24 PM   #19
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Yes, and it's not just them. Evidently, due to the large scale Verizon outage on the east side of the country (that storm), my own bank can't tell me balances on the internet, or even in person.

So, I have a paycheck to write (after spouse support) and I can't find out if I've got the money - my trading account says the check went to the bank, but they can't say if they've got it or not - and someone right here, right now, is hurting because I can't write the check I owe them till I find out how extensive their outage really is. I seriously doubt they fail to charge me a bounce fee if they haven't gotten the wire transfer...due to the same outage.

I can only trade in electrons. I can't just pull it out into cash/PMs and live on the principal - wouldn't last that long. I live on my winnings, eat my own dogfood. Sure it will probably be OK in the end, and I've loaned this employee what I can that I did have in cash, but we run pretty close to the bone here - lucky it's a holiday and all.
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Old 07-05-2012, 02:25 AM   #20
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Some of my work colleagues are with Ulster Bank, my company is pulling back their wired paychecks, and paying them salaries in cash this month (!). Good old days are back :-).
...me? Like I told you before, I have hardly any more cash in my Irish bank account, than required to wire my monthly bills :-). They have all the money required to do their"business" from central banks these days, customers are in this picture only to get fucked, so I don't give my consent and refuse to cooperate.

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