back to article Co-op Bank to splash £500m on system revamp

The Co-operative Bank has put tech suppliers operating in Blighty's financial services sector on red alert after confirming plans to spend £500m on overhauling its creaking IT infrastructure after years of "under-investment". A wider rescue plan is being initiated by the bank after it discovered a £1.5bn black hole in the …


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  1. wolfetone Silver badge

    About time, I've been with them for over 3 years now and their Internet banking is awful. I won't even get on to their mobile banking system. To be quite honest, I thought it was all fine, but then the girlfriend started banking with Lloyds TSB and showed me their Internet/Mobile offerings which are far superior.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I have no particular issues, on "smile". Does everything I need, perfectly well.

      1. johnnytruant

        Me too. I've been banking with smile for over a decade and - although they haven't significantly updated their website the whole time - it does work perfectly well.

        Been with the co-op for another account for a couple of years and it is a bit clunkier but it does work. It's not like I need to use it every day.

        1. wolfetone Silver badge

          I just had a look at smile (I'll be honest I forgot they existed) and imagine my surprise that their standard account offers better incentives than my Co-Op account I pay £13 a month for!

          Don't get me wrong, it is clunky and it does work, however Lloyds offer more control over the account online than the Co-Op do. And don't get me started with that handheld calculator thing that you need to use to set up bank transfers. I tried to do one recently and the message online said it wouldn't work. I call the Co-Op, they say my card isn't compatible so they'll send a new one. They send me a new one, I try it again, BANG. Locked out of the account.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Old Yeller

    I wonder if this will be another write-off like the last big Co-op IT initiative which resulted in a multi-million pound disaster.

    By all accounts Britannia and Co-op IT systems are still separate at multiple levels despite many failed, half baked attempts to consolidate.

    Lets take over Britannia, done. Lets take our time and integrate, nope lets go after Lloyds! Why stop there, lets ditch our investment in a new banking platform and use the Lloyds platform, I mean, its a done deal right? Let's stretch the IT function so thin it is close to breaking point, lets force redundancy on much of the IT workforce and replace with contractors at twice the cost.

    And now the rescue package means that the last few years worth of ad hoc projects and demands from the Group overlords to integrate Co-Op Group and Bank infrastructure now has to be unraveled. readers would probably not be surprised at the amount of money wasted on lackluster projects in which 'just do it' and 'scope creep' are the taglines.

    What could go wrong?

  3. Anonymous Coward 101

    Read this article from early 2009...

    Laugh at the falsehoods and BS contained within!

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    About Time.

    I've been a customer for 20 years and I'm primarily with the bank for their ethical stance, however their IT is kind of sucky from a user/customer's point of view.

    The other day I withdrew a large amount of money from both a Coop investment and a Britania investment. The Britania paid the money into my coop bank account electronically, the coop had to send me a cheque.

    It has taken more than two years for them to still fail to send me a card which can operate with the handheld internet banking PED that they send out. TWO YEARS! I have to do all new transfers on the phone, each time there are sincere promises of "we'll make it for next time" and "No, really this time we will..." I've had new cards and new PEDs, they just don't seem to be able to make it work, no-one seems interested when you've got past the customer call centre.

    1. TrishaD

      Re: About Time.

      Another account holder for the last 20 odd years here...

      And I must admit that I've never been less than impressed with their customer service or with a banking website that's always worked perfectly well for me. We did have a bit of trouble a while back with credit cards issued that didnt do Chip and PIN but they did sort that out within a few days. The PED has never given me any problems either.

      1. the spectacularly refined chap Silver badge

        Re: About Time.

        Same here. No experience with Co-op's PED though, I don't think I've ever had to use it. But then again I can't remember the last time I wired anyone more than a couple of hundred pounds so I'm probably under some threshold where it is needed.

        My only niggle is actually related to the limitations of their IT infrastructure in terms of their overnight banking. If you make a card transaction the retailer naturally puts a hold on that money so it's guaranteed to be there when the amount is actually charged a few days later. However when it finally hits your account it doesn't clear the hold immediately so you appear to have been charged twice in terms of available funds.

        From personal experience, I've had e.g. £1500 in my account and made a £1000 card transaction. When the charge hits my account I briefly don't end up with £500 available but £500 "overdrawn" and unable to withdraw anything. It all sorts itself out over a couple of hours in the small hours of the morning but really, that might have been acceptable 20 years ago but it's inexcusable now. It's left me in the lurch in the middle of the night before now.

  5. Richard Jones 1

    They Had Systems?

    I've been dealing with the affairs of my aged and now deceased parents for some time. It is news to me that the Coop-Britannia had any systems, they had staff who fought to provide a service with varying degrees of success, but only ever at the speed of a quill pen user.

    Oh to get probate and sort things out - out before they crash and burn 'out' being an operative word!

  6. Down not across Silver badge


    Might not be the most aesthetic site, but it just works. And it works with any browser and doesn't require any dodgy^Wfancy plugins either.

    So Co-op, whatever you do don't break what is not broken. ie. leave smile well alone.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So ends the Co-op bank, soon to be (70%) owned by its creditors - mostly hedge funds (*). Brought about by yet more financial wizardry and incompetent regulators, although to be fair I don't believe its been part of the wider 'ethical' co-operative ethos for years.

    (*) remember that banks have their own accountancy rules (and laws to support them) - bank depositors are not creditors of a bank, hence since the banks wont pay to insure their depositors as part of the cost of doing business the government (tax payers) have to bear the cost of taking on the risk

    1. TopOnePercent

      *Yawn* This. Again.

      The bank don't insure your deposits because they would derive no benefit from doing so. When you were single, did you have insurance to pay your creditors if you died?

      The Government scheme provides a benefit to tax payers, who have their deposits insured, which prevents banks offering this as a chargable service. The banks and insurance companies would be more than happy to retail products to replace the deposit scheme as it would be more profitable for them to do so.

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