National Australia Bank: not a G’day for the Aussies
In fact, not a good weekend and probably this week won’t be a whole lot better. Australia’s biggest bank is still off-line after a routine upgrade went wrong.
While the other banks may laugh behind closed doors about NAB’s misfortunes, truth is, its a case of There but for the Grace of God goes I.
A technical house of cards
Failures like these in the global banks are the result of a triple-whammy of factors.
Technical under-investment, poor resourcing and weak compliance.
The major banks have long regarded their technology purely as a necessary evil, with few recognising it’s real contribution to their bottom line.
The expert staff who developed many of the systems have long since moved on, tired of seeing their contribution ignored and pay eroded.
They’ve all been replaced by technically-marginal system house-keepers who’s abilities are just enough to keep things ticking, but nowhere near strong enough to keep everything afloat when the good ship banking springs a major leak.
greedy technology partners over-milking the cash cow
The problem is compounded by grabbing outsourced suppliers refusing to move the customer on from old, high-revenue legacy systems to 21st Century resilient Cloud infrastructures that don’t pay anything like as well.
With so little technical resource around, these hapless banks just get the wool – prime Australian wool in this case – pulled over their myopic eyes.
Playing dominoes with people’s lives
NAB may point to this glitch and try to excuse it. What the bank can’t excuse is the inability of remaining systems, like their on-line banking, telephone services and ATM networks inability to cope with the demand placed on them.
This just good enough attitude pervades every major retail bank across the world.
Its why no global bank has emerged from the credit crisis with anything they can remotely describe as innovative or ground breaking.
Will your bank be next?
So don’t be fooled. The bank you’ve entrusted your hard-earned money with is no better than poor NAB. Its just that they haven’t drawn the losing card this week.
And when they do, their house of cards will come tumbling down just as hard…