back to article Abbey online banking takes 24-hour lie down

Abbey, the banking group, has been having problems with its website, which has left customers unable to administer their accounts for more than 24 hours. An Abbey spokeswoman told The Register that the problems were not security-related, and had been caused by maintenance and upgrade work. The bank sent us this statement: We …


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  1. Simon

    Crappy as usual

    Abbey's online banking is crappy as per usual.

    So I haven't been able to check my balance on and off for a couple of days, or move any money..... it's only my main business account, something Abbey don't give a stuff about.

    Their online banking is always down at the weekend for "maintenance" which means I can't do a thing until Monday morning.

    Look out Alliance & Leicester, here I come!

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Since Monday

    This problem hasn't just started today. It has been ongoing since Monday 21st May. I have purchased a car and tried every day to transfer money from my savings account to my current account, but have not been able to. I eventually went into an Abbey branch and got them to do it.


  3. Conway

    Natwest isn't bad

    If online banking is the sole criteria for switching, you could do far worse than Natwest. As long as you don't try using their branches(Wait for ages then speak to one of their helpful salespersons, you can't call them bank tellers any more).

  4. Andy Lewis

    Abbey Failure

    The ebanking system has been down since Sunday lunchtime 20th May. I have just spoken with the Abbey Complaints dept. and they have no idea when the system will be available. I queried the statement put out by Abbey concerning transferring of monies and, contrary to their statement, you cannot transfer monies either by phone or in a branch if it is from an esaver account (they can only be operated on line). I asked what the Abbey's stance is on accounts going overdrawn due to the inability to transfer funds and got a vague response about reclaiming charges at a later date. They also could give no assurance that Standing orders, Direct Debits, cheques, etc. would be honoured if funds where not in the linked current account due to the system failure. Like a previous contributor I will be moving all my accounts as soon as possible, not because of the systems failure (which happens to the best run companies -and the Abbey definitely does not fall into this category) but because of the total inability to assure customers that they will not suffer financially as a result and the admission that they do not know how long this will last for. It is this total lack of faith in their ability to do anything that will make me move my accounts.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Known issues

    I alerted the Abbey to 'issues' with its online business banking more than a year ago. I got the impression then that this service is not a priority for them - more of a 'lost leader' in the hope that they can sell SME owners more lucrative products. Things do not seem to have improved one iota since Santander bought them.

  6. Phil Clark

    Loss of Abbey online services

    The Abbey online system was down completely from at least Sunday (one poster on said Saturday) to Monday. Since then online transfers have been down, as have transfers via the ATM. They will move money from an esaver on the phone - if you can get through. I managed today - and the ostensibly helpful guy on the phone moved the money the wrong way so I am going to have to do it all over again tomorrow. They have made no attempt to let customers know what's going on. I am now considering changing my bank account, but not before I've claimed everything I can (any overdraft interest they charge me, loss of interest through my esaver effectively being inoperable, my time and effort etc). The very least they need to do is stick a tenner in everybody's bank account and grovel.

  7. Sergiu Panaite

    That's bad?

    If that's bad, then what about Barclays' online service, which dies pretty much every evening, and at least once a week for about half a day? And they want to break it even more with the new chip & pin @home machines - but hey, at least you'd have plenty of time to think whether you REALLY want to put that new expensive gadget on your credit card.

  8. heystoopid

    Oh been done in Australia in 1995

    Ha ha , here in Australia back in 1995 Westpac Bank Ltd took over a Perth , Western Australia based bank called Challenge.

    Now sadly the resulting merger and integration of the Challenge Bank Customer Data Base and identicafion of customers real money was soo poorly mismanaged , so as to deliberately deprive all existing Challenge Bank customers access to any account or credit funds for well in excess of 48 hours or more! , as the computer challenged Wank Bank IT staff desperately sought ways to fix the problems caused by their own ineptitude and very poor planning!

    In the the end Westpac , then publically apologised with large scale Newspaper Adds within the state of Western Australia , addressing former Challenge Bank customers , saying literally we didn't mean to stick it too you! , please stay we promise to do better!

    Sadly , however the damage had been done! , and no amount of redress on the Westpac side of the fence could prevent the stampede or loss the vast majority of the Challenge Bank customers , as they moved valued credit funds and assets to other financial institutions like Credit Unions etc(the major australian trading banks shameful activities(excluding the NATIONAL AUSTRALIA BANK(NAB) whose then GM point blank refused to join the stampede of the idiots , by asking the simple question "Does it fit the official standard lending criteria? or so the story goes") struggling to survive in the face of a vast sea of red ink from bad unpayable very large debts of many billions of dollars(20 or 30?) generated by gross anything goes stupidity lending of the late eighties based on the guesstimated final developed value and not the ability of the land developer to deliver the goods(Alan Bond/Christopher Skase to name but a few and destroyed all State controlled Banks at the same time) caused a literal hundredfold increase in the more secured Credit Union customer base as the banks put the screws into their financially secure customers by excessively ramping up the fees slashing staff and branches by 50% or more to cover and artificially hide the losses from the balance sheets)

    Westpac the Bank had become so desperate to correct it's balance sheet , that it's board , chose to transfer a large surplus from it's own pension fund which the trustees had set aside for post 2012 payouts to retiring staff back into general revenue to hide the embarassing losses , and sacked the messenger who warned the board(he then went on to enlarge and enhance a local bank in Westpac's home state of origin to rival the size of the bank within that state, of his former bosses gaining many of it's wealthy cheesed off customers as well , annoyed at large scale fee increases well above the level of inflation)

    In the interim the name Westpac was hidden from sight as a trading entity due to it's bad name as the scurge of good banking practices , run by an ex Wells Fargo man(remember this is the same bank that lost it's shirt in Argentina in the eighties and hit number one on the US FDIC watch list as well) , for over a decade until recently it re-emerged from the doldrums , and is still struggling with a declining customer base even though it ranks number three based on capital , but on customer numbers , number four of four and still a falling star!

    So been there , done that in Australia in the nineties!

    Interestingly , the combined debts of the ten million or so Australians on credit cards issued today by the local Australian Banks is now far larger than that which caused the Banker's lending crash of 91/92 in Australia!

    Life does indeed move in circles!

  9. Clive

    Abbey UH!

    Part of their Internet banking site have been down since Monday, especially the 'Move Money' part, which i am sure is what most people do. Why cant they put some information on the front of their website to stop you needlesly logging in. If you have not got an Abbey near you why should you spend money on phone calls to get them to do your money transfers.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Time to leave Abbey

    I agree with those who have commented that it is time to leave Abbey.

    The customer service staff don't know what is happening, no one cares and no one apologies for the problems their system failure is causing.

    I found the email address for the CEO and have sent him a complaint.

    If anyone else wants to do the same, you can reach him at

    I intend to close all my accounts as soon as I can and transfer my finances elsewhere. I have had an account with Abbey since 1990 and now realise that remaining with them after Santander took over has been a huge mistake.

  11. Edward Hammond

    They're onto a winner here

    If I can't move money from a deposit to a cheque account and the latter goes into the red, they'll charge me £30 for it - its called "free banking" in Abbey-speak.

    While they make so much money out of operating inadequate systems for customers, there is a real incentive for them not to improve - and they haven't.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Abbey still failing, no notice to users

    Abbey is still failing today, nearly a month after it first started.

    But no notice has been placed on the login page about the current status, the only notification is on the help line number for technical enquires.

    They do have a go at customers about fraud and phlishing emails, but not about their own failures.

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