Thursday, October 16, 2008

Santander in trouble?

Internet bank website 'stalled'

They say they had a power cut.. - Sorry, but people like this have protected 'uninterruptible' power supplies. They all do.. This cover doesn't wash - something is wrong at Santander..

Posted by uncle tom @ 11:00 PM (3844 views)
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19 thoughts on “Santander in trouble?

  • I went Googling for reports that Santander are in trouble. Nothing. It’s probably a good old fashioned screw up.

    That said, this is a good illustration of how fragile web based business systems can be. I would only use Internet banking for secondary purposes – keep you current account and at least one savings account in a branch you can visit.

    I wonder how robust the HPC disaster recovery arrangements are? It might be quite easy for one of the pesky NWO agents to silence us (sarcasm).

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  • little professor says:

    sht sht sht. Had a fair whack tied up in Icesave, and a fe thousand in my cahoot savings account. Is nowhere safe?

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  • UPS will only last up to 30 minutes for a small server and router support.
    If it is a grid or line power cut, how on earth do you think UPS is going to support it??
    But yes, i would have thought they have a backup site to take over primary failure..??

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  • the average taxi firm is a 24 hour operation and has UPS.

    most data centers have (as said above) UPS including back up generators of their own both fully rolling and easy to roll up back-up generators. How long was it down?

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  • most data centers have (as said above) UPS including back up generators of their own both fully rolling and easy to roll up back-up generators. How long was it down?

    translated:

    most data centers have (as said above) UPS including back up generators (both aready spinning and static – ready to start)

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  • “most data centers have (as said above) UPS including back up generators of their own both fully rolling and easy to roll up back-up generators. ”

    translated:

    most data centers have (as said above) UPS including back up generators of their own (both already spinning and rapid spin-up). At least thats the impression i had.

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  • Gardeniadotnet says:

    Withdrew about 2% of my substantial savings from Abbey today.
    Probably caused a run on the bank.
    Sorry about that.

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  • A lot of financial services companies have a real ‘do it yourself’ attitude to IT and as such – perhaps surprisingly – don’t always have all the backup systems in place when things go wrong that would be there if they’d outsourced to a professional outfit (say to Accenture, IBM or Fujitsu). Certainly in my experience, if you look behind the scenes, they are much less organised than governments in this respect. Applications – yes they know what they want their apps to do. But infrastructure is another matter and it’s often held together with the bits and bytes equivalent of chewing gum & string..

    This is one of the reasons Halifax and BoS systems still don’t talk to each other whatever it is, six years after a supposed merger – this DIY attitude.

    I wouldn’t read anything sinister into it. A lot more can go wrong than just a power failure and it isn’t always straightforward to bring things back up (or at least, back up in a controlled way without any data loss) unless you’ve thought it through beforehand – which it seems Santander hasn’t.

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  • ‘The takeover of the UK’s Abbey National by Spain’s Banco Santander is testament to the importance of cost-effective operations. One of the first cross-border mergers of its kind, Banco Santander is shutting down all of Abbey’s IT systems and transferring operations to Madrid where wage costs are lower than in the UK – essentially insourcing and offshoring the IT and business processes. Signi.cant parts of Abbey National’s back-of.ce operations are now run out of Barcelona and Milton Keynes. Atos Origin is involved in supporting Santander with respect to applications management and thereby assists in the bank’s work with Abbey. With this move, Banco Santander has promised its shareholders significant cost savings that could, if realized, herald a wave of such mergers and establish new ground rules for banking operations in Europe. ‘

    From the Atos-Origin website (formerly known as KPMG in the UK). Wonder if this is part of the contract or not?

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  • There is a difference between ‘uninterruptible’ power supplies and infinite power supplies, even a generator would generally only offer power for a limited period. Also, UPS are usually inline, so a failure of some description between the UPS / generator and the server hardware is perfectly plausible. I have seen it several times (working in the industry) at large internet based services.

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  • I would guess it’s a screw up.

    Not that long ago I knew of a Nortel switch that went down. This is a floor sized device that has every internal system in duplicate and in addition to its standard power supply has generator and battery backup. I’m not sure exactly what had happened but I heard the battery rack had exploded, I’m guessing took out the power bus. Should never happend but it did (I believe Nortel switches have to installed to certain standards before Nortel will support them) Having seen the cowboys that operate in the IT industry I’m suprised IT systems don’t go down more often 😛

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  • Online banking isn’t considered as important as debit-card payments or cash-machine withdrawals. The investment in systems and staff isn’t nearly as high.

    Even debit cards have screwed up before – I remember many years ago when a major bank’s debit card system broke down, there were photos in the papers the next day showing hundreds of shopping trolleys abandoned at the checkouts because people had no other means of payment.

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  • Have been talking about Santander and Spanish banking to one of my Spanish friends with whom I have been discussing HPC for many years. (His wife forcred him into buying a home literally weeks before all the really bearish news kicked off…poor b*gger.) He says there are rumours that some of their housing associations/building societies (about the closest approximation to the Spanish concept I can give) are in deep trouble and that he too cannot see how Santander are still okay given what they appear to have been invested in. He thought initial financials for the year will be out towards the end of 2008, with full reporting in March 2009, so his prediction was that things will be crawling out from the closet/under the bed November/December. I wait with bated breath.

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  • Spain has been gorging itself on cheap credit, and building countless thousands of homes – far in excess of domestic demand. Construction has become the nation’s core industry, and it’s now as big a basket case (if not bigger) than in the UK.

    There’s no way their biggest bank can emerge unscathed from this..

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  • There are lots of incentives in the way local Spanish authorities are funded for them to approve massive overbuilding…from planning fees to tax on empty properties.

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  • Uncle Tom

    That’s my view aswell. I think we’ve done our fair share of the cheap credit thing in Spain and priced out alot of the locals on the Coasts (at least for the moment).

    I don’t know quite how leveraged the Spanish are, but you’d imagine their largest bank has loned them most of the money and I would have thought the Spanish HPC will be second only to Ireland. Although alot of the victims will be British.

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  • Cahoot’s website seems to be working now.

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  • what about my savings in abbey are they safe

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  • This bank will dive!
    I’ve recently recovered 23K from the ISA that I had with them.
    Get your money out!

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