back to article Santander's banking website craps out

Santander's banking website has been up and down today like a demented frog, forcing punters to hotfoot it to bricks-and-mortar branches. Customers took to Twitter and El Reg's inbox to report being booted off the online service shortly after logging into their accounts. Other complaints suggest that the online banking service …


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  1. Reboot_IT
    Thumb Down

    What will be...

    ... the new upgrade then...

    1. LarsG


      Its just the whole infrastructure slowly collapsing.

      This is happening all over, failures, outages etc.

  2. Hieronymus Howerd


    Brilliant - straight from the BBC's "here's some stuff people said on Twitter" school of "journalism".

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: BBC

      Sir, you expressed it much better than I was going to.

      At least she was quoting Twatter not the Register's own comments section.

      1. Dan 55 Silver badge

        Re: BBC

        Another vote for dropping Twatter comments from El Reg articles.

        At least quoting from El Reg commentards or tip-offs has some merit to it because some know what they're on about (I'm not sure if I can include myself in that select group), but #ANGRY TWATTER QUOTES add about 0% extra value to stories.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Had no problems here...

    I've logged in multiple times (to check for a payment) and had no problems...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Had no problems here...

      I'm able to get logged in, but frequently having timeouts, particularly when trying to make a payment (or schedule one). All other sites have been fine.

  4. Gordo Rex

    It's a matter of priorities

    But they are awfully good at sponsoring Formula 1 races. We can't expect the lambs to be good at everything, can we?

    1. Shagbag

      Re: It's a matter of priorities

      Sponsoring races? I thought they just sponsored UK tax exiles.

  5. The Axe

    Until the banks rip out their old and ageing software then they will always have problems. When other companies handle millions more transactions using cloud tech, why are banks limping along with mainframes and overnight batch jobs?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      New != Better

      Actually in Santander's case the problems started when they began to rip out the old and ageing software to replace it with the new, miraculous, award-winning Partenon system. Some part of the system was down nearly every day that I had the misfortune of working with it during my time in one of their call centres during university. I left Santander 3 years ago but I am informed by old colleagues that it is not much better today.

    2. The Baron

      The fact that the RBS outage (and, to a rather lesser extent, this) are newsworthy items tells you that they don't happen very often. This in turn tells you something about quite how few customer-affecting problems the "old and ageing software" actually causes. Now sure, it ain't cheap to run a mainframe, but - provided you don't let inexperienced imbeciles poke them about - they are pretty damn reliable.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Strange, new use of "soaring"

    "Did it melt in Blighty's soaring temperatures?"

    This must be some strange, new meaning of the word "soaring" of which I had previously been unaware.

    I show the UK high at about 31C, we are pushing 40C. And we are thankful - it's a break from what it has been.

    1. Daf L

      Re: Strange, new use of "soaring"

      There might be a new meaning to you - rising rapidly. If the temperature in the Antarctic goes from -40 to -5 in a day then the temperature could be described as soaring. Therefore maybe you are mistaking the word for "scorching" or another word meaning a "very high temperature"?

      Therefore as the weather in most of Britain has been pretty shocking lately it might be an exaggeration but not entirely without merit.

      Also the comment about 40C is a little meaningless without context to your location. You could be sat in the middle of the Lut Desert.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Strange, new use of "soaring"

      Strange new meaning? Have you tried a dictionary?

      Soaring refers to the rapid increase in temperature not the actual temperature.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    @TheAxe, erm, mate, I'd lay money on it NOT being the bank's mainframes as the source of their problems. More likely to be some Microsoft garbage front end or middleware. Mainframes are are far more reliable as far as hardware (more ECC in every part of the system) and software (more transaction processing monitors). Not fast no, reliable. Are you new to IT?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: @TheAxe: New to IT?

      More probably he's a cloud salesman.

      They only have one answer to everything. One word, five letters, begins with C, ends in D, also includes L, O and U.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: @TheAxe: New to IT?


        1. some vaguely opinionated bloke

          Re: @TheAxe: New to IT?

          Since posting, you may have realised that "U-CLOD" does not begin with C.

          1. Nigel 11
            Thumb Down

            U-CLOD does not begin with C

            I think I spy someone who didn't get the joke?

            1. some vaguely opinionated bloke

              Re: U-CLOD does not begin with C

              I got it, I understood the idea behind it and found it witty and appreciable.

              However, and not wanting to get too far into a critique, I felt the need to comment as it was a bit like being asked the question "name a popular fruit" and responding with "Kevin"*.

              It'd still be a witty and appreciable response, but somehow not quite in keeping with the suggestion that led to it.

              * apologies to all the Kevins out there who are not popular fruits but think they should be and all the popular fruits out there who are not named Kevin but also think they should be, and all the Kevins who are popular fruits but wish they weren't named Kevin, weren't popular or weren't fruits.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: @TheAxe

      > Are you new to IT?

      Yeah, he's probably the sort of person who doesn't know how to use the "reply" button in a forum rather than starting a new thread ;-)

  8. Gareth 16


    Its a service at the end of the day, when you opened a bank account they never promised that the online banking facilities would be accessible 24/7 for the remainder of your entire LIFE!

    The fact people will take the time to whine about it on Twatter of all places just boils my p*ss.

    *Rant over*

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Re: Muh...


      Of course it should be available 24/7 for the rest of my life. It is a normal banking service these days, and completely accepted and expected.

      I am not such a fool to expect that nothing will ever, ever, ever go wrong, but nor should banks be such fools as to expect their customers to see such failures as anything but just that: failures.

      1. Nigel 11


        That's an expensive and silly promise for a bank to make (if they actually made it, which I doubt).

        24/7 is much harder than (say) 5am to 1am six days/week, and I for one don't care if my bank is occasionally offline for planned maintenance between (say) 1am and 5am. I know that at least one of my financial services providers starts its scheduled downtimes at midnight - a bit early for my liking (which is how I know) but not enough to actually annoy me. Likewise, if they sometimes need to take a longer time-out on a Sunday, I'd not be very bothered. Certainly given a choice between 24/7 or free banking, I'd take the latter without hesitation!

    2. Roger Cornwell

      Re: Muh...

      No, but when I opened my business bank account they did promise that it would be "free, forever". Which to me does mean "for the remainder of your entire LIFE!"

      Now they have written to me to say that they propose to charge £7.50 a month. For a service of which this is an example.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    did they outsource it. would love that to be the cause. I think I'm hoping for too much though after RBS and that other one.

  10. Anonymous Coward

    Santander, Royal Bank of Scotland.

    It seems I am a Santander customer. I never wanted to be, and certainly never asked to be, but it appears that The Royal Bank of Scotland has sold me. It also seems that the government told them to.

    Nobody asked me.

    1. Chillihead

      Re: Santander, Royal Bank of Scotland.

      If you want to remain with the RBS then head into your local branch and ask to move your account north of the border. Simple form, fill it in and either post it or give it back to them to send in their internal mail. They might ask why you want to move or say it isn't normally allowed, so just tell them you don't wish to become a Santander victim. Sorted.

      1. Dan 55 Silver badge

        Re: Santander, Royal Bank of Scotland.

        RBS to Santander or the other way round is just going from the frying pan into the fire. Try Nationwide, Co-op, First Direct, Tridos or somewhere else according to your preferences; IT that doesn't have a reputation for going tits up and also a mutual society or ethical banking (if there is such a thing) so they have an interest in maintaining customer service instead of casino banking.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Santander, Royal Bank of Scotland.

        Thank you for that. It's nice to know that a choice might be available. Unfortunately I live so far away from my branch that the air fare woudl wipe out my current balance.

        Come to think of it ...I never chose RBS in the first place!

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Santander, Royal Bank of Scotland.

      The EU told them to, after the bank you'd rather stay with got itself into a right pickle.

      Disclosure - I'm in the same boat.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Santander, Royal Bank of Scotland.

        RBS accounts start migrating to Santander, RBS goes tits up

        Santander complete RBS migration, Santander goes tits up.

        Just saying

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: the bank you'd rather stay with

        Come to think of it ... they got me, originally, as a free gift with Williams and Glynns. I didn't have a choice then, either.

        That was the biggest shame, because WIlliams and Glynns gave really, really good personal service --- like one of those posh banks, almost!

    3. Roger Varley

      Re: Santander, Royal Bank of Scotland.

      That's because nobody expects the Spanish Aquisition.

      1. Why Not?

        Re: Santander, Royal Bank of Scotland.

        upvoted and soon to be plagiarised - excellent.

        So Santandars website is slow? I'll get excited when they start double dipping and forgetting transactions like other banks. Not good but could have been far worse.

      2. Anonymous Coward

        Re: nobody expects the Spanish Aquisition.

        Damn, I had to read that three times before I saw what you actually wrote!

        I'm sending an upvote in case the beer doesn't reach you

  11. N 6


    "and we can confirm that this has been resolved."

    Nope. Still not resolved.

  12. Pink Duck

    My favourite problem with Santander is the ever increasing page height in Firefox as they add div upon div to the page every second. Even though I pointed it out to them, twice, over a year I suspect that's still there.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      The problem I have with their site is when you come to pay your credit card. All the usual fields are there to fill in, debit card number, expiry date, name on card, postcode, etc But oh what this? House number, not got one of those I’ve got a house name so I’ll leave that blank, ermmmm ok it’s a mandatory field I’ll try to just type my house name in, ermmmm ok its character limited to 5 characters, grrrrrrrrrrrrr Ok I’ll use the payments and transfers tab as the help says this’ll make thing quicker you can just use that tab to move money from a Banko Dago account to your credit card, except you can’t you can only move stuff from current, savings and ISA accounts the credit card isn’t listed, grrrrrrrrrr.

      The site does seem to be working ok today

    2. wibble001

      not just FireFox, it does that in Chrome too.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Someone hasn't got the concept of night

    aaaarrgggh @Santander online banking unavailable. Maintenance should be done at night! #commonsense

    It was done at night - in India where the maintenance crew work

  14. Jeffrey Jefferson


    Do customers get any compensation I wonder.. same with the RBS fiasco, or am I just in cuckoo land?

  15. Richard Pennington 1

    "an isolated group of personal banking customers"

    ... who were presumably "isolated" precisely because they couldn't log on to Santander's site.

  16. mark 63 Silver badge

    "University of Edinburgh computer science undergraduate Andrew Johnston"

    or Andy , for short

  17. This post has been deleted by its author

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Those complaining need to think again and stop relying on tech. They should know that if it can 'break', it will, and not complain when it does.

    Yes, inconvenient, but not unexpected and not unavoidable.

  19. Callum

    it's not that old

    me and 5 others wrote the original abbey national online banking code in 2000 - 2001, abbey was pretty late to online banking at the time. I've noticed it's been refreshed a few times since then but up until last year I still recognised the same underlying structure that had must have been in place for 10 years! It was a pretty cool system because, at launch, you could use it on Sky, web or cHTML website that only worked on those old LCD screen Nokias; i.e. a bit too far ahead of its time.

  20. Lockwood

    NatWest Direct Business Banking customers are being moved to Santander.

    Nice to see the IT team are being moved too.

    I've still not had any reply from NatWest after I commented that their "Switch to a more helpful bank" advertising slogan isn't really such a smart idea; I saw it last time I was entering a branch and switched to Barclays.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    IE is the solution!

    We have always used Firefox to access Santander's online banking, but yesterday we started getting 403s and 404s during the login process. (Firefox 14.0.1). Got through to the hotline surprisingly quickly, where the guy denied all knowledge of any problems. Eventually he suggested trying Internet Exploder, which to our astonishment worked fine. Of course, it's possible the problem went away while he was talking to us.

  22. Chris 10

    Make their lives easy

    Oh to think how difficult it used to be finding out who banked where. With all these people posting on MyTwatFace, the phishers jobs are just made so much easier. Where do they live... let's look at their post history.

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Check out where support is from? 'Blighty' or 'India'. If it's in UK let's sweep it beneath the carpet and claim- How robust our DR process are!

    if offshored- let it hit the roof!

  24. billy_joe_bob
    IT Angle

    Pick a bank, any bank, then place it back in the pack...

    When I phoned Natwest asking about their business accounts I was told I could either sign up there and then, becoming a Santander customer or make an appointment with a Natwest branch. They took my details and said they'd call back to arrange a time.

    They even sent me an email confirming this. Which was nice.

    That was four weeks ago, even after stopping off at local branch to ask about an appointment I've heard nothing from them. Not only are they selling people's accounts off but they obviously don't want our money to start with.

    Just like Comrade Lockwood, I switched to a more helpful bank too.

  25. blofse

    Nice careful wording

    "We are aware that an isolated group of personal banking customers had intermittent problems accessing Online Banking for a short time earlier today. We are sorry for any inconvenience this caused and we can confirm that this has been resolved"

    In other (exaggerated) words:

    We have been told by all of our users that a very small group of a small section of users had very rare problems with a small section of our website which only shows itself for a very short period and in rare occasions when the moon is blue and the earth is at 200degress and the solar system has collapsed, for a very small period of time.

    Fail. Tell us you have been hacked, go on! I am moving mortgages and paying huge sums of money out of my account - you have picked a great time :-)

  26. LeeS


    Sadly I can confirm IE does work, chrome does not. Not a good situation!

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