Natwest customers have been forced into looking for an alternative sources of funding, sometimes just to get home from work. Some being forced into getting payday loans because Natwest's banking system crashed on Thursday. But they haven't said what caused the crash, which is very suspicious and leading some to ask if Natwest has suffered a hacking breach?
Through what appears to be a simple banking system glitch, the whole network came to a grinding halt. People were thrown back 50 years in that they couldn't get hold of cash at the drop of a hat.
High interest lenders were inundated with applications for loans yesterday, the average amount being asked for was just £100. This would indicate that a huge amount of the 12.1 million customers affected were completely without funds.
One customer who applied to Quick Loans says, "I was at work until about 17:00, then one of my colleagues came in and asked to borrow some money to get home" when we asked why "I have been to the cash point and the network is down, so no money" he said. At which point I started to laugh at this situation, then someone asked him which bank he was with and he said Natwest. At which point I started to panic as that was the bank I am with. So I searched on the internet for what was happening to the banking system and sure enough, the whole thing was down.
"I needed money for shopping on the way home, so I applied for a loan online and got the money paid into a bank account i have with Barclays. Not ideal but at least I managed to get money somehow."
Natwest say they will compensate customers who have lost money due to the glitch but just how far this will go is anyone's guess. Will they pay the fees on loans people needed to apply for due to the failure. Will they pay for failed direct debits because people couldn't pay their bills on time.
The whole thing is very interesting to watch, with rumours circulating that Natwest has in fact suffered a sophisticated hacking attempt and that the hackers were at one point inside the system. There is no evidence that this is the case, but it goes to show just how far people are speculating on just what the problem is.
Natwest have announced that the system won't be restored until Monday the 25th of June at the earliest which does indeed point to a huge failure, and leaves hacking or more a security breach as a very very real possibility.
We spoken to a friend of a friend who works in IT security for another of the major banks in the UK. There are reports that there is a security briefing doing the rounds from HM Treasury in the form of a security briefing and key indicators that all banks have to look for certain patterns. There is no more information than that, he said that even they were not privy to such details.
When asked if they were sure it was a hacking or not, he said quite simple "These banks do not do major upgrades in one go, they do upgrades to certain accounts and watch the results. Only then do they continue the upgrade in batches until it has rolled out across the board. If they fond a problem they simple roll back the changes to the previous software version. So there is no explanation other than it being hacked, because if it was just software they would just roll back the changes."
What ever has happened here is certainly worrying some people, worrying them enough to keep the whole thing super secret.
Update Number 2 (26/06/12 01:30): A close source is telling us that rather than a external hacking breach. It looks like the security alert was from internal breaches in their Indian IT centre. At first glance appearing to be rogue staff (2 or more) that infilitrated the IT department over a period of time, surely it can't be that simple? The delay in restarting the systems was to check for malware still in the system. They could not roll the updated software back because it was mysteriously deleted.
When will they come clean?
Out of all the bills that land on the doorstep each month, the TV license is one of the most annoying. One of the reasons is that the TV license funds a dinosaur of an organisation that is utterly untransparent, pedals political deceipt, overpays crownies and run by an untouchable elite who have little experience of any real world employment.
If we take and place to one side the fact that people like Jimmy Saville, Gary Glitter and Stuart Hall were all employed by the BBC despite the warnings from others. Then we place to one side the fact that the BBC is actually man at the front of pedaling man made global warming, it has little appetite for questioning why bills are rocketing because of it.
You now have just two of many examples of a organisation that is causing more harm than good. Then you look at how much we all pay for such a organisation each year and what we get in return. The elite sporting packages have nearly all gone, the FA Cup, The Ashes, International Football all gone but the price of the license has gone up. The BBC is showing repeat after repeat after repeat.
It's hard to see why it is still allowed to demand money from anyone with a tv despite not wishing to watch it. With so much TV now coming through the internet and being truly on demand, more and more people are simply not falling for this antiquated tax anymore. Even those that cancel their TV licence can watch programmes that come via the Internet. You don't need a TV license to watch TV anymore.
Internet TV channels such as Project Free TV have programmes from all across the globe, usually within a few hours of the being shown in their host country. Even BT's premiership football packages will be aired over the internet next season.
So the Bishops have come out and stated that the recent Welfare cuts are having a dramatic effect on the poor with some of them needing the help of food banks.
That's fine, Bishops can have their say but it falls on businesses like ours to point out why the Bishops are completely wrong and totally hypocritical. First of all, as they drink out of their Gobblets made of Gold (because God likes them drinking out of the most expensive cups ever doesn't he). They should consider that both the Church of England and the Catholic Church sit's on multi billion pound property portfolio's. Selling those could provide a few meals for the needy.
Next they should consider that the welfare budget is not endless, the story of Jesus feeding the 5000 with a couple of loaves of bread and the odd fish isn't a real story, like the rest of their nonsense it is made up. The benefit budget is finite and if you give x amount to someone, then you take it away from someone else, that's just how maths works.
Getting people back to work is not just a financial thing, even forcing people back to work by removing benefits is a good thing. It reduces dependency on the state and makes people self sufficient and more confident, even happier. Getting people out of dependency is not what the Chruch wants though, they want people to need them. That is how they gain followers by pretending that they can protect them from the invented evils of this world. They probably could if they sold some of their assets, but they won't put their money where their mouths are.
If they want to start dabbling in politics then they should stand for election like everyone else has to. These Bishops commented on the loan industry last year, despite owning shares in a company that had shares in Wonga. No amount of hypocrisy is too much for these people to try and get their faces in the newspapers or on tv.