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If only RBS had not fired hundreds of IT staff…

Terry MurdenMeltdown crisis at bank could have been averted

So, Royal Bank of Scotland  is to invest £150 million a year to “improve the resilience of its computer systems”. Maybe if someone had listened to the scores of IT staff if laid off it would not have found itself in yet another embarrassing situation.

Ross McEwan, who has clung to his mantra of putting the customer since taking over at the top from Stephen Hester, may be wondering if he is losing his grip. Certainly there will be a few customers out there who would step on his fingers and let him fall.

Mr McEwan, however, left his chief administration officer Simon McNamara to face the growing anger that was whipped on social media. Exasperated customers were told last year that £750m was being thrown at sorting out the problem that caused a meltdown of its systems in 2012. It was fined £56m for that cock-up.

Clearly its assessors were also wrong as £750m was not nearly enough. Goodness knows how bad the system must be if it needs investment of this sort.

Mr McNamara said bank staff were working around the clock to sort out this latest glitch which is likely to leave some of the 600,000 accounts affected in disarray until the weekend.

“Technology will on occasion fail,” said Mr McNamara. Yes, and on occasions customers will move their accounts elsewhere.

This is a bank that, if it really wanted to put the customer first, could have diverted its £421 million bonus pool to resolving basic infrastructure problems. But we know which option it chose.

 

 

 



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