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As RBS' ATM "Glitch" Enters Fifth Day, The Bailed Out Bank Issues A Statement

Tyler Durden's picture


Over the past week, various entities controlled by bailed out UK-bank RBS, focusing primarily on NatWest, have seen clients unable to access virtually any of their funds, perform any financial transactions, or even get an accurate reading of their assets. The official reason: "system outage"... yet as the outage drags on inexplicably for the 5th consecutive day, the anger grows, as does speculation that there may be more sinister reasons involved for the cash hold up than a mere computer bug. 

The reports:

BRANCHES of Royal Bank of Scotland will open on a Sunday for the first time this weekend as RBS Group struggles to deal with the aftermath of technical problems that have affected up to 12 million customers. The taxpayer-owned group took the unprecedented step of extending the hours of more than 1,000 RBS and NatWest branches that normally open on a Saturday to 6pm, and opening them again tomorrow morning, as it faces an angry backlash from people unable to access accounts, withdraw wages or pay bills and mortgage payments.


The difficulties, which have hit NatWest, RBS and Ulster Bank users, are entering their fifth day. RBS said the backlog had been caused by a “system outage” on Tuesday, and that it was “working around the clock” to resolve it.


Some customers said their home purchases or holiday plans had been plunged into chaos by the glitches, while others vowed to switch banking provider. Fears have been raised that thousands could be hit with penalty charges if their regular bill payments, such as for their mortgage, are affected. Consumer groups called on the banking behemoth to provide “appropriate compensation” to those customers who suffer as a consequence of the “failure”.


It appears the difficulties have hit hardest at NatWest, which has more than 7.5m personal banking customers. RBS Group said it could not tell how many had been affected as it was not possible to know when they were expecting payments into their accounts.

Problems are spreading beyond just RBS:

A group spokeswoman said it was “too early to say” how many RBS or NatWest customers in Scotland had been affected, but added: “The RBS problems seem to have been solved. The backlog being dealt with now has to do with NatWest customers predominantly.”

However, the problem is not confined to RBS account holders. Some non-customers are suffering as their employers use the group, and have not received their salary payments. Customers of RBS Group’s banking transaction services include the Government Banking Service, which looks after the balances of hundreds of public sector organisations, from government departments through to executive agencies.


RBS Group, which has 317 RBS and six NatWest branches in Scotland, said 192 RBS branches would be open today, a number of which would stay open until 6pm. Across the UK, hundreds more branches will extend their hours tonight, as well as opening tomorrow between 9am and 12 noon.

It is only logical that after Schdoinger currency, and Schrodinger Egyptian president, we no whave Schrodinger's Money: it's there... and yet it isn't.

Customers have reported a plethora of problems. Account balances have not been updated properly, meaning credit and debit payments are not showing up as quickly as they should, although RBS said the money was “in the system”. People going into their branch yesterday could not necessarily see the most up-to-date information on their balances, although staff were said to be “geared up” to help.

It is still unclear how much longer the "glitch" will persist:

Susan Allen, customer services director for RBS NatWest retail, said it was difficult to say exactly when all the problems would be resolved. She said they had been due to “an error in our system which we believe we have now fixed but we are clearing the backlog”.

The situation has gotten so dire that RBS itself has just issued a press release. The message is the usual one: keep calm, all is well.

Message to Customers from Stephen Hester RBS Group Chief Executive


23rd June 2012


The problems of the past few days have caused disruption and inconvenience for our customers as well as for many customers of other banks.


I am very sorry for the difficulties people are experiencing. Our customers rely on us day in and day out to get things right, and on this occasion we have let them down. This should not have happened.


Right now my top priority, and the priority of the entire RBS Group, is to fix these problems and put things right for our customers.


This is taking time, but I want to reassure people that we are working around the clock to resolve these problems as quickly as we are able.


I also want to be clear that where our customers are facing hardship or difficulty we can and will help them. Our staff have already helped thousands of customers to access cash and we will continue to provide this service on a 24 hour basis while we work to resolve the problems.


I also want to reassure customers that no one will be left permanently out of pocket as a result of this, and again, they should contact us directly about this.


We have double the usual number of staff in our call centres, and for the first time ever we will open 1,200 branches across the country on a Sunday from 9am to 12pm.


Once again I am very sorry for the inconvenience.

Luckily, Greece is (still) in the Eurozone. Or else all those trumpeted preparations for a pan-European bank run and capital controls may have been put into play.

Then again, with ATM friends such as the above, who needs Greeks bearing presents or Trojan horses?


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Sat, 06/23/2012 - 13:20 | 2553907 RockyRacoon
RockyRacoon's picture

'Tis a harbinger of things to come...

Sat, 06/23/2012 - 13:23 | 2553918 Popo
Popo's picture

If you have money in NatWest or Barclay's: GET YOUR MONEY NOW. If this isn't just a "glitch", this could spread very fast.

Sat, 06/23/2012 - 13:26 | 2553928 SilverTree
SilverTree's picture

"And the battle has just begun"

Sat, 06/23/2012 - 13:28 | 2553935 AldousHuxley
AldousHuxley's picture

A lot of BS in banking... YouBS aka UBS in Switzerland OurBS aka RBS in UK WhyBS aka YBS in UK TheBS aka DBS in Singapore EatBS aka EBS in Ireland GBS in South Africa but no shit is like American bull shit. MBS

Sat, 06/23/2012 - 13:42 | 2553973 TruthInSunshine
TruthInSunshine's picture

'Tis just a glitch in the Matrix. We'll be seeing a lot of glitches. Don't fret.

Deja vu, and good Creditanstalt to each of you.


Sat, 06/23/2012 - 13:44 | 2553981 Stackers
Stackers's picture

Happy Bank Holiday

Sat, 06/23/2012 - 13:46 | 2553987 palmereldritch
palmereldritch's picture

They can run but they cannot hide.

Sat, 06/23/2012 - 13:59 | 2554020 Bay of Pigs
Bay of Pigs's picture

Thank goodness we've 'decoupled' here in the

Sat, 06/23/2012 - 14:51 | 2554203 Cruel Aid
Cruel Aid's picture

Too bad they don't have FDIC protection.

They could sleep well.

Sat, 06/23/2012 - 15:52 | 2554361 sessinpo
sessinpo's picture

As if FDIC really meant anything.

2011, the DIF (Deposti Insurance Fund) was $19.2 billion.  BOA alone has at least $1 trillion in deposits. Let's see FDIC cover that.

Sat, 06/23/2012 - 16:23 | 2554433 Pure Evil
Pure Evil's picture

Maybe they got Stuxnet'ed or Flamed by the Argentinians.

Sat, 06/23/2012 - 17:00 | 2554498 Gief Gold Plox
Gief Gold Plox's picture

Ever-since I learned about how fractional reserve banking works, I started getting any and all money I receive out of the banks. It's a flawed system and in order to preserve your savings you must do what you can to not perpetuate it. Everyone in the EU, even if they dare not invest savings into tangible assets like precious metals, should get their money out of the failing system. At the very least diversify into foreign currencies to spread out the risk. At this point things can (and will) only get worse.

Sat, 06/23/2012 - 17:43 | 2554598 shuckster
shuckster's picture

Not to mention, most banks are levered 100:1, so some guy pulling out $550 for a Vegas weekend trip is enough to break the whole system

Sat, 06/23/2012 - 19:57 | 2554798 Matt
Matt's picture

Perhaps the glitch is that the computer software was not designed to handle the possibility of there being less than 1 percent paper money to deman deposits, so they froze up. 


pay bill -> NSF message.

Call Customer Service

"what do you mean Non-Sufficient Funds? I have $10,000 in there!"

"oh no sir, your account is fine. We here at the bank seem to have non-sufficient funds. I apologize for any inconvenience this causes you."

Sat, 06/23/2012 - 23:08 | 2555081 Osmium
Osmium's picture

Ah yes, divide by zero error.

Sat, 06/23/2012 - 23:35 | 2555109 Harlequin001
Harlequin001's picture

I don't see this being anything more than a computer problem. When all's said and done, the UK can print money if necessary to maintain liquidity in its banking system, for now.

If it was a Eurozone country I would be far more worried, but then I can afford to be, I hold no assets of any real worth in the banking system anyway...

But I don't see it as being THE critical problem at this stage...

Sun, 06/24/2012 - 11:30 | 2555713 tonyw
tonyw's picture

My contacts inside RBS tell me it is down to a software error in a recent upgrade that was not spotted in testing. The development of this software has been outsourced to RBS's office in Chennai (called Madras and the centre of the British empire's admin for India)). It will cost them millions but this is certainly not anything more than a typical outsourcing cock-up. The UK based staff on this have been "let go" and replaced with much cheaper Indian staff. Now these newer staff will not have had the years of experience of the old staff, but hey whatever costs - reduced and management bonuses paid.

RBS have also outsourced more work to Singapore using the ABN-AMRO staff they acquired so they can again "save money" and help justify the ABN-AMRO purchase.

Sat, 06/23/2012 - 17:02 | 2554504 Abitdodgie
Abitdodgie's picture

The FDIC only insure 2 cents on the dollar now so good luck with that insurance.

Sat, 06/23/2012 - 23:55 | 2555131 mjcOH1
mjcOH1's picture

"As if FDIC really meant anything.

2011, the DIF (Deposti Insurance Fund) was $19.2 billion.  BOA alone has at least $1 trillion in deposits. Let's see FDIC cover that."


That might require another roll of paper.

Sat, 06/23/2012 - 13:58 | 2554017 LULZBank
LULZBank's picture

A lot of BS in banking... YouBS aka UBS in Switzerland OurBS aka RBS in UK WhyBS aka YBS in UK TheBS aka DBS in Singapore EatBS aka EBS in Ireland GBS in South Africa but no shit is like American bull shit. MBS

Haha.. LULZ Supremo!!

Cant give you enough +1s.

Sat, 06/23/2012 - 18:46 | 2554701 Thomas
Thomas's picture

I think this is just a glitch. Wouldn't play out this way if it were other, at least not at the start.

Sat, 06/23/2012 - 16:01 | 2554391 mt paul
mt paul's picture

you can't spell banks

with out BS...

Sat, 06/23/2012 - 14:54 | 2554215 Kaiser Sousa
Kaiser Sousa's picture

Yeah, a "glitch"....that's it I'm sure....
Well, last time I checked all my shinny Silver is resting peacefully in a undisclosed location....

Sat, 06/23/2012 - 18:08 | 2554646 shuckster
shuckster's picture

We have ways of making you tell us where the silver is

Sun, 06/24/2012 - 17:51 | 2556437 BigJim
BigJim's picture

And we have ways of lying.

Sat, 06/23/2012 - 13:37 | 2553963 pop goes the weasel
pop goes the weasel's picture

I withdrew a £1000 yesterday in branch, then went back an hour later to withdraw another 3k from my current account, just to be on the safe side. I was told i could not have 3k, as they did not know how much i had in my account. I said well you just let me take £1000 out an hour ago. She said I trusted you had it in but cant do it again, you can have a max of £300. Aafter some argueing I managed to get another £1k and was told I could not go to another branch and try for any more as it would flag up and they would deny me any more.

Sat, 06/23/2012 - 14:03 | 2554029 JPM Hater001
JPM Hater001's picture

What do you think the chances are the CIA has a new toy?

Sat, 06/23/2012 - 17:18 | 2554542 Peter Pan
Peter Pan's picture

Fiat + Fractional Banking = Fear + Failure.

It is time we realised how fragile the economic system is due both to its poor construction and even worse management.

It is time people prepared for the possibility of some real mayhem because one day there will no longer be any warnings such as the episode we now have with RBS.

Sat, 06/23/2012 - 14:17 | 2554039 resurger
resurger's picture

Can you wire all your cash and close your A/C? Or there is a limit on that too?

Did you get an Avenger Towel?

Sat, 06/23/2012 - 14:18 | 2554072 pop goes the weasel
pop goes the weasel's picture

My internet banking is down aswell, can see balances but cant do anything with them.

Sat, 06/23/2012 - 14:31 | 2554113 resurger
resurger's picture

I guess what they are doing to you is so fucking unfair, why the fuck there is a limit on your withdrawls when you visit your bank HQ or a branch, you ought to be able to withdraw all you money on spot. I can understand that there is a limit on ATM bank withdrawls to protect you from theft, but i just dont understand why your bank wont give you all your money on demand (I DONT BELIEVE THIS WE CANT SEE YOUR ACCOUNT, sorry for CAP's but this is serious). Is there a policy that says you can't withdraw all your cash in the U.K?

Either way, good luck .. it seems the bank depositors are coming out of the woodwork to claim the hostages.

Sat, 06/23/2012 - 17:12 | 2554523 css1971
css1971's picture

See, when you put money in a bank... IT'S NOT YOUR MONEY ANYMORE. IT'S THEIR MONEY.

That's the legal position. You loaned the money to them, they can do with it what they like and they can restrict your access to it according to the terms and conditions of the account, the small print of which will say "nah nah nah nah nah!".

Sat, 06/23/2012 - 17:25 | 2554555 NumNutt
NumNutt's picture

I live in the U.S. and about 5 years ago I tried to pull 30,000 in cash out of my account and was told I couldn't. I had the money, and the teller could see the balance. I was told they could not do that amount without a weeks written notice as they did not have enough cash on hand that would allow them to do that transaction, and still service other customers. They recieve a cash delivery 1 time a week, and would get an extra amount to cover a large withdraw like that, this was told to me by the bank manager.  I always keep this in the back of my mind when the fear of a bank run is running high. They don't keep to much cash on hand, and they can run out, regardless of what the numbers say your account has.

Sat, 06/23/2012 - 18:28 | 2554680 Oracle of Kypseli
Oracle of Kypseli's picture

All printed paper dollars are only a few billion. If a small % of people take their deposits out in cash, lights out. 

Sat, 06/23/2012 - 20:04 | 2554806 BidnessMan
BidnessMan's picture

About seven trillion in US dollars, but only about 1 trillion in actual currency.  And about half of that is outside the US.  

So be in the first 7% of the bank line .... 

Sat, 06/23/2012 - 21:29 | 2554938 TruthInSunshine
TruthInSunshine's picture

I believe based on recollection (if I'm wrong regarding what I'm about to state please correct me) that approximately 3% of the total U.S. money base exists in physical form, whether coins or cotton/linen Federal Reserve Notes.

Sun, 06/24/2012 - 17:54 | 2556441 BigJim
BigJim's picture

It's roughly the same in the UK.

Sat, 06/23/2012 - 16:03 | 2554395 mt paul
mt paul's picture

my silver is stacked 

in the back of the shed...

still gathering dust

Sat, 06/23/2012 - 16:52 | 2554481 Republicae
Republicae's picture

Oh, what's that address again?

Sat, 06/23/2012 - 20:16 | 2554400 mt paul
mt paul's picture

seal point..

off of walrus way...

Sun, 06/24/2012 - 08:57 | 2555392 mvsjcl
mvsjcl's picture

On my way via Igloo Drive.

Sat, 06/23/2012 - 18:11 | 2554649 shuckster
shuckster's picture

The other day, it took a whole week for a check deposited into an ATM to hit my bank account - that is, I deposited it on Friday and it wasn't available til the next Friday 

Sat, 06/23/2012 - 13:51 | 2553992 resurger
resurger's picture

Is winter coming early this year in the North?!

Fuck you John Snow, you have to defend us from the Zombie banks instead of shagging ygritte


Sat, 06/23/2012 - 22:46 | 2555046 Buck Johnson
Buck Johnson's picture

This isn't a glitch, no way it's a glitch.  Because for one it took 5 days and still continue to have problems.  If a bank was having trouble this big with it's milions of customers, it would have reverted back to it's old program and gotten rid of the update or whatever.  Then they would slowly update the system one branch at a time in order to make sure it's working properly.  After seeing how much debt to GDP that the UK have, I think that most of the UK's banks are insolvent and they are in a liquidity crunch.  5 days in the business world especially the banking world is tantamount to forever.  Because this threatens the bank in a way that when or ever the issue is "fixed" people will take there money out of this bank and to another one. 

Sat, 06/23/2012 - 23:20 | 2555095 bigkahuna
bigkahuna's picture

Yep. 1 day of this is enough to make customers angry and/or nervous. 5 days is a death sentence. It might as well go out of business.

Sun, 06/24/2012 - 19:56 | 2556646 jumbo maverick
jumbo maverick's picture

It might as well go out of business or ask for a bailout

Sun, 06/24/2012 - 09:09 | 2555408 mvsjcl
mvsjcl's picture

Agreed. As a programmer of many years for a Fortune 500 company, implementing countless upgrades, cognizent of the myriad QA steps involved, the countless contingency scenarios outlined should the unthinkable occur--especially with such a high impact, customer-facing application--this is complete and utter BULLSHIT.

Sat, 06/23/2012 - 13:27 | 2553920 mikla
mikla's picture


People will re-wire their lives without intimate expectations/needs with banking institutions.

In the "short-term" we will see "economic friction".  In the "long-term" we will see restoration of sanity as mal-investment and market-distortions are removed.

The Economic System is intended to provide capital liquidity, which is essential for any "free society", for social mobility, for market economies, for social prosperity as "good ideas" can be pursued.

However, since our current Economic System now merely represents oppression, market distortions, and public fleecing, it should surprise no-one that people worldwide will remove themselves (as the "official" economy in its current state serves no Public Good whatsoever).

Sat, 06/23/2012 - 17:42 | 2554593 New_Meat
New_Meat's picture


"in the long term we're all dead"

Your comments are appropriate for the macro view.

Here in the pig-sty, we really worry about the micro view, where the disruptions are rather ... er ... disruptive.  Like no drinking water.

"The Economic System is intended to provide capital liquidity,..."

Do you have an MS. in Economics, I doubt that you have achieved a PhD. in same.  That is probably to your credit.

Public Good?????

go figure, I can't

- Ned

Sat, 06/23/2012 - 18:30 | 2554672 mikla
mikla's picture

I accept that the "micro-view" is important:  "What's for dinner?" is pretty important today.  Agreed.

However, the "macro-view" is not-that-far-away.  The upcoming "Bank Holiday" will probably last five-days-or-so.  It's a new-economy on the other side.  Probably all this before the US Presidential election.

My "macro-view" reference is simpler:  You'll make extra-dinner and share with your neighbors.  There will be more "block-parties" and "church-get-togethers".  People will share what they grew in their back-yard, because anybody with a zuchinni plant has too much.  When you need your roof repaired, it will be a handshake-transaction, or more likely, a "gift-economy" which is epitomized through "Barn-Raisings".

Yes, this is a localized-example.  But, it's not micro.  It's macro, because that's how it will be done *everywhere*.  It's a different economic system (e.g., the opposite of "Centralization", which is in its death-throes.)

Those things are simple.  Effective.  Efficient.  And, more importantly, they can't be leveraged, nor securitized, nor taxed.

It's not a return to the "Dark Ages".  It's not collectivism either.  Rather, your neighbors are roofers, doctors, child-care-providers, cooks, and hobbyist gardeners.  When we figure that out, without a "third-party" siphening from every transaction (removing all value from all transactions), all our quality-of-life will increase, because our neighbors already have-all-the-makings of a fine-and-prosperous economy.

In reference to the specific quote:

"The Economic System is intended to provide capital liquidity,..."

This, of course, is a definition-of-terms problem.  There are many parties with differing wishes.  For example, I concede that, "Those In Charge" view the "Economic System" as a mechanism for siphoning-and-control.  Nothing more.

In contrast, I was referencing the social aspect, or, "Why would an individual subscribe to such a system?"  There are many answers, but access-to-capital was the single-most-important-concept that brought us out of the Feudal System, which is merely an economy-based-on-labor (not capital).

Sat, 06/23/2012 - 21:14 | 2554914 New_Meat
New_Meat's picture

good answer, thanks, and food for my thought.  But further not right now--got other things that Mrs_Meat has on her agenda.

- Ned

Mon, 06/25/2012 - 00:40 | 2556978 MeBizarro
MeBizarro's picture

So you will essentially have no financial system with any kind of standard currency and overwhelmingly amount of commerce is going to based on local transaction face-to-face?  What a complete load of BS.  Historical trade has almost never worked like and rightly so because it makes people painfully poor and lacking in necessary resources.

Mon, 06/25/2012 - 08:06 | 2557292 mikla
mikla's picture


History demonstrates *exactly* what I assert.  The "underground economies" worldwide are exactly what I assert.  In countries like Greece where the "central-economy" died long ago, the "underground economy" is pretty much everything.  The "standard-of-currency" will be arbitrary, just as it is arbitrary now.

And, the "underground economy" does not make people, "painfully poor".  Rather, it is the rational response so poor people can, "get-what-they-need", because they see value in it.  That's the sole purpose for why the underground economy exists.

I concede that as we swing back from "centralization" that the economies take-a-form that is hard to "scale".  It's hard to "scale" barn-raisings and church picnics, and when people hand-shake with each other.  However, that's the point:  It's hard to securitize, leverage, tax, and prevent, too.  That's why people do it.  That's the whole point of "underground economies".

The world is full of underground economies.  After central planning failure, the only difference is that the underground economies will be more-important-than-ever, and they won't be done in dark-alleys where people are afraid to be caught by the central planners, who "demand-their-cut".

Sat, 06/23/2012 - 19:26 | 2554761 blunderdog
blunderdog's picture

Yeah, well, I'll be the asshole here, but uh...whose brilliant idea was it to live somewhere there's NO FUCKING WATER?

If you have access to non-potable water, just buy yourself a $500 jerry-can (or several) and quit worrying already.  Technology has solved this problem for us wealthy Westerners. 

If you don't have access to water at all, FUCKING MOVE.  There's no value in the excuses.

Sat, 06/23/2012 - 13:58 | 2554016 KK Tipton
KK Tipton's picture

Har har.


5 days of bank cash.
3 days of food supply in the grocery stores.

Looks like someones done their math. And can't wait to do this on a big scale.

Sat, 06/23/2012 - 14:16 | 2554065 FEDbuster
FEDbuster's picture

Get your food supplies (see Greek food lines), get real money (gold and silver) store it in your gun safe, get a gun safe stuff it full of guns and real money.  BTW my gun safe has never had a "glitch" and is available to me 24/7 with no counterparty risk, no rehypothecation, can't be Corzined, etc....

Sat, 06/23/2012 - 15:08 | 2554264 Tom Servo
Tom Servo's picture

I have a gun safe also.  I don't share your confidence.  If "THEY" wanted it gone (corzined), it would be gone.

Sat, 06/23/2012 - 20:25 | 2554836 Matt
Matt's picture

I think you over-estimate how much control "THEY" have. When the masses panic and start doing things, like a bank run or emptying the shelves at the grocery store, "THEY" suddenly do not seem to be in control anymore, at least for a little while.

Sat, 06/23/2012 - 20:19 | 2554825 mt paul
mt paul's picture

keep the chocolate in the gun safe

so the old lady can't get  at it....

Sun, 06/24/2012 - 09:49 | 2555440 FEDbuster
FEDbuster's picture

Old lady keeps her chocolate bars safe and keeps a close count.  Only time we get to nibble away at it is when there is an open package, and we still are asked "who has been eating my chocolate?"  

As for the risk of .gov coming for the guns and gold, to quote Chuck Heston "Out of my cold, dead hands".   I am not alone in my sentiment, up here in the mountains of AZ people take their Second Amendment right very seriously.   We still have quite a few more gun stores than Starbucks (quick count in my town the ratio is 7 to 1 and the Starbucks is inside a grocery store)

Sat, 06/23/2012 - 20:44 | 2554858 Ms. Erable
Ms. Erable's picture

I had a gun safe  - stuffed to the gills as you describe - on my boat. Damn shame about the sinking part, too - no insurance, no police report, and I can't locate exactly where it went under...

Sat, 06/23/2012 - 14:33 | 2554140 Sudden Debt
Sudden Debt's picture

Not to mention the 30 minute backup systems that haven't started up AFTER 5 DAYS!
Every bank has a backup system that kicks in when the system is down. Unless they don't trigger it and keep it down.

Sat, 06/23/2012 - 14:16 | 2554064 resurger
resurger's picture

The markets "Shrug Off" RBS bankrun, teh markets rally.

Election year, all BS

Sat, 06/23/2012 - 14:24 | 2554098 Nage42
Nage42's picture

Ha, "best shoring."

"pay peanuts, you get monkeys."

Have you fixed the problem?!?


Do you know what the problem is?


Why didn't we prevent this from happening?!?!


Wait a minute, you have no idea what I'm talking about, do you?!?

yes... <bobble bobble bobble>


Welcome to "indispensible" IT (we've tried to dispense of it, but it keeps coming back).


Sat, 06/23/2012 - 14:38 | 2554159 LULZBank
LULZBank's picture

Dat be Rayciss!

Sat, 06/23/2012 - 14:56 | 2554221 Gringo Viejo
Gringo Viejo's picture

"Coo' ya lend us a quid for I got a postal money order what's comin' on toosday?"

...Ian Mac Bierney, Scotland's Poet Laureate

(old monty python skit)

Sat, 06/23/2012 - 17:33 | 2554575 New_Meat
New_Meat's picture

Rocky: u b still rockin'


- Ned

Sun, 06/24/2012 - 05:57 | 2555317 Mitzibitzi
Mitzibitzi's picture

The amusing thing being that when the RBS ATMs came back up (still not working properly, though) there is now a new menu option - Donate To Charity!

Can only choose between five or six already rich charities, of course; the ones that run constant tv ads and throw huge gala dinners for the elite.

Sat, 06/23/2012 - 13:20 | 2553908 Diplodicus Rex
Diplodicus Rex's picture

"Computer Glitch"


Sat, 06/23/2012 - 14:29 | 2554121 Quintus
Quintus's picture

I suspect that this is nothing to do with RBS running short on liquidity.  This is a state owned bank and one of the largest and most system-critical in the country at that.  One phone call to the Bank of England would get them all the liquidity they need in an instant.

If there is more to this than a 'Computer Glitch' then the liklihood is that the idiocy of releasing Stuxnet and Flame into the wild is coming home to roost.  Thanks Obama.  There are plenty of groups out there with the capability to reverse engineer that stuff and send it back where it came from with best regards.

Most likely though, it is just simple human error.  Never ascribe to conspiracy what can be put down to incompetence.

Sat, 06/23/2012 - 17:58 | 2554631 Diplodicus Rex
Diplodicus Rex's picture

I suspect you can't detect humour when you read it. Here, let me help you out with that;-



Now that's better, isn't it? No need to get so worried. It'll be all right in the morning. It was just a nasty dream.

Sat, 06/23/2012 - 19:47 | 2554789 Quintus
Quintus's picture

Humour? Limp.

Sat, 06/23/2012 - 20:13 | 2554814 John_Coltrane
John_Coltrane's picture

Unless RBS uses Siemen's gas centrifuges to separate their coins, ideas such as Stuxnet code being useable or even capable of being adapted to hack other  systems shows that most people have never written code to run machines nor done any real programming (no, writing JAVA code doesn't count as real time device programming).  To control any real device requires a detailed knowledge of the real actuators, feedback loops, voltage and timing diagrams for the logic controller interface and other functions of that device as well as actual device (e.g. gas centrifuge, power supply, gas turbine, programmable logic controller) to test and debug the code.  Its not simple like a denial of service attack on the virtual device like a website which is merely annoying.  

Sun, 06/24/2012 - 09:00 | 2555395 Marco
Marco's picture

When he says it's coming home to roost, he means it might be a retaliatory cyber attack against the west ... reading comprehension like coding is not trivial ;)

Sun, 06/24/2012 - 14:22 | 2556091 Quintus
Quintus's picture

While the payload that Stuxnet and Flame carry is clearly very specifically targeted, as you say, there appears to be a whole lot more going on there in terms of stealth, replication, difficulty of removal and other factors that unfriendly groups can learn from and adapt.

When Kaspersky and others in the business were marvelling at the complexity and capability of this code, I am sure that they were't in awe of the efficient code in the centrifuge parameter modification section, but rather these other factors.

Sun, 06/24/2012 - 08:10 | 2555363 Nozza
Nozza's picture

"One phone call to the Bank of England would get them all the liquidity they need in an instant."

From 20 June



Sun, 06/24/2012 - 14:25 | 2556101 Quintus
Quintus's picture

If that measure was a proactive step to address liquidity at RBS, then they wouldn't be in trouble now would they?

No - if a big bank like that gets into real trouble, I'm sure there will be no publicity about the government's support.  Why risk creating a panic?  The government already owns the bank, so they can fund it when and how they like.

Sat, 06/23/2012 - 13:22 | 2553912 Diplodicus Rex
Diplodicus Rex's picture

RBS still sponsor the Royal Highland Show which is on this weekend. They've spent so much on it there's nothing left in the ATMs.

Sat, 06/23/2012 - 14:23 | 2554093 Diplodicus Rex
Diplodicus Rex's picture

Fred? Is that you with the down arrow?

Sat, 06/23/2012 - 13:21 | 2553913 Crab Cake
Crab Cake's picture

Why do people still have money at tbtf banks, or in a bank at all?!

Bankers are thieves, and politician are corrupt liars. Still comfy with them owning and running you and your country?

Sat, 06/23/2012 - 13:24 | 2553922 Jack Sheet
Jack Sheet's picture

Fred Goodwin is hacking in - he wants his bonus.

Sat, 06/23/2012 - 13:25 | 2553923 DollarMenu
DollarMenu's picture

Gee, with Stuxnet, Flame, and who knows what else, could this be a new front opening in the 21st

Century war on the 99%?

Sat, 06/23/2012 - 14:02 | 2554028 Satan
Satan's picture

Well I owe my bank a tidy sum...wouldn't mind if it all got "deleted".

Sat, 06/23/2012 - 14:25 | 2554104 LULZBank
LULZBank's picture

The "glitches" are usually adverse for the customers. There never is a glitch where FREE MONEEZ were given out to sheeple for 5 days to PAARTYY!!!

Sat, 06/23/2012 - 14:35 | 2554149 Sudden Debt
Sudden Debt's picture

I wouldn't mind that also :)
But somehow I think those records are the last one to get lost...

Sat, 06/23/2012 - 19:38 | 2554779 Quicksilver
Quicksilver's picture

Somehow mortgage payments seem to have been unaffected.

Sat, 06/23/2012 - 13:26 | 2553930 RobotTrader
RobotTrader's picture

Funny how RBS is still a prime sponsor of F1 racing, various golf tournaments, and other "hobbies" of the PigMen and the EuroZone Choco-Crats.


I doubt there is anything wrong with RBS, it is a blue-blood firm in Europe that will be saved or bailed out at all costs.

Sat, 06/23/2012 - 14:19 | 2554076 Diplodicus Rex
Diplodicus Rex's picture

Its not funny at all. It's my money they're stealing through taxes to keep that corpse going.

Sat, 06/23/2012 - 13:28 | 2553933 AldousHuxley
AldousHuxley's picture

dont' bank with bs banks

Sat, 06/23/2012 - 14:11 | 2554043 Skateboarder
Skateboarder's picture

Royal Bank of Shortage lol.

Sat, 06/23/2012 - 13:32 | 2553942 ebworthen
ebworthen's picture

Why is it that cash withdrawals and other forms of "austerity" are only visited upon normal folk?

J.P. Morgue and the other TBTF banks can get seemingly unlimited bailouts and loans at the FED backdoor for almost negative interest but the toilers and mules of society have their share and bond holder rights subordianted (stolen), are charged 5%-29%, and are subject to cash withdrawal denial and limits?

Indentured servitude by any other name, that's why.

Sat, 06/23/2012 - 13:37 | 2553960 mick_richfield
mick_richfield's picture

Fiat currency means that we are slaves.

Sat, 06/23/2012 - 18:47 | 2554705 Animal Cracker
Animal Cracker's picture

At least we get some cake!

Sun, 06/24/2012 - 00:44 | 2555172 IBelieveInMagic
IBelieveInMagic's picture

Here in US of A, if EBT cards don't get recharged on time... then you will see fireworks.

Sat, 06/23/2012 - 13:32 | 2553947 Ancona
Ancona's picture

When did bankruptcy get redefined as a "glitch"?

Sat, 06/23/2012 - 13:58 | 2554018 spentCartridge
spentCartridge's picture


Sat, 06/23/2012 - 14:05 | 2554032 LULZBank
LULZBank's picture

When did bankruptcy get redefined as a "glitch"?

Ever since one broke nation could bailout another broke nation, or even itself using collateral. "We use ther term collateral rather losely here."

And they thought my sacred Wooden Goat was a bad idea...

Sat, 06/23/2012 - 17:27 | 2554561 TWSceptic
TWSceptic's picture

Since governments bail you out anyway.

Sat, 06/23/2012 - 13:33 | 2553949 slackrabbit
slackrabbit's picture

Remember these banks only hire the 'best' from the 'best' universities - you know - the ones who 'never saw it coming'

I'll still with the dude up the road who can actually count, open on time and genuinely gives a fuck!


Sat, 06/23/2012 - 14:20 | 2554081 Venerability
Venerability's picture

Not only is that a cheap shot, it's very inaccurate.

Nick Whatshisface was a non-college graduate from a working class background. Nor did Fabrice or Patrice or whatever his name was come from a blue-chip background.

The Forces of Evil don't recruit based on education or sophistication or - clearly - common sense. They recruit based on candidates' willingness to Parrot the Script and, it seems more and more, their basic amorality.  

Sat, 06/23/2012 - 16:26 | 2554439 slewie the pi-rat
slewie the pi-rat's picture

speaking of which (parroting the script), didya notice that

Stephen Hester

 I am very sorry for the difficulties people are experiencing. Our customers rely on us day in and day out to get things right, and on this occasion we have let them down. This should not have happened.

copied jamie's homework?

Sat, 06/23/2012 - 17:23 | 2554552 HardlyZero
HardlyZero's picture

re: MF'd Global

Sat, 06/23/2012 - 13:34 | 2553954 apberusdisvet
apberusdisvet's picture

Is  Corzine a hidden Director of this bank?

Sat, 06/23/2012 - 14:15 | 2554060 Venerability
Venerability's picture

Great minds think alike!

That was my first thought exactly.

We opined a couple of days ago that Something Wicked could be occurring within the outer reaches of the JPM Nexus.

Is this it?



Sat, 06/23/2012 - 13:36 | 2553956 FinalCollapse
FinalCollapse's picture

The money is in process of being vaporized. 

Signed by friends of Corzine.

Sat, 06/23/2012 - 13:36 | 2553959 Global Hunter
Global Hunter's picture

CEO of RBS to ambassador of Turkey: We're out of cash for a few days can you fly a plane provocatively over Syria please?

Sat, 06/23/2012 - 13:43 | 2553978 Joebloinvestor
Joebloinvestor's picture

Sounds like it will be explaned as well as the flash crash.

Sat, 06/23/2012 - 13:57 | 2554009 magpie
magpie's picture

Indeed. A tale unbefitting the age of ZIRP and unlimited government bailouts.

But i've been noticing the same thing around in other fields, seems like tptb is trying to discredit its own institutions for some reason. or just to leave scorched earth.

Sat, 06/23/2012 - 14:10 | 2554041 LULZBank
LULZBank's picture

But i've been noticing the same thing around in other fields, seems like tptb is trying to discredit its own institutions for some reason. or just to leave scorched earth.

Guy slips on a slippery surface and tries to pretend it was intentional or for fun or some "mysterious" reasons. Dont consider TPTBs to be too bright or intelligent. They made the best of consolidated power and collusions of the past and new frontiers to loot, but wouldnt be able to organise a piss up in brewery, if the going gets tough.

The rely on brute force in the end as no clever ways out.

Sat, 06/23/2012 - 14:27 | 2554110 magpie
magpie's picture

Ha, so in the end it comes down to the barrel of the gun or the pitchfork. Sitting on bayonnets though isn't possible and a 100% state of permanent coercion is just another idiot's political utopia.

When the time of bank runs approaches, wouldn't the good guys allow unlimited withdrawals...


Sat, 06/23/2012 - 15:06 | 2554246 delacroix
delacroix's picture

waddell & reed bank at rbs?

Sat, 06/23/2012 - 13:44 | 2553982 Satan
Satan's picture

A gov. Experiment through a gov. owned bank to basically time how long banks can withhold your money before there is a riot?

Or have I been reading ZH too long?!

Sat, 06/23/2012 - 13:58 | 2554019 Waffen
Waffen's picture

Except that as soon as this cascades the time before riot will decline exponentially.

Sat, 06/23/2012 - 14:07 | 2554034 Satan
Satan's picture

Can't argue with anyone who has tits like that!

Sat, 06/23/2012 - 14:11 | 2554045 LULZBank
LULZBank's picture

Can't argue with anyone who has tits like that!

You must be a lesbian.

Sun, 06/24/2012 - 09:08 | 2555405 hardcleareye
hardcleareye's picture

Once again it's the "running of the prev's" on ZH....... great burst of levity and foolishness in the midst of grim reality....

BTW is the RBS accepting deposits? (I mean the money/cash kind...)

Sat, 06/23/2012 - 15:02 | 2554242 HardlyZero
HardlyZero's picture

Caaasssscaaaading....flowwwingggg ovvvverrrrrr.....


Slowly I turned...inch by inch...Niaggggraaa Faaaalllllssss.

Sat, 06/23/2012 - 15:00 | 2554237 HardlyZero
HardlyZero's picture

Hey...mayb they figure no one would notice.

Since everyone is on one needs money anymore.

Fiat, a barbaric relic.


Got shiney ?

Sat, 06/23/2012 - 17:27 | 2554563 Reptil
Reptil's picture

well eehm...

there were riots (and gov. reaction on it); part of the reasons for that were financial.

and before that:

then even before that:

and now an iceberg ahead.


Sat, 06/23/2012 - 13:47 | 2553988 SIOP
SIOP's picture

Having worked in banking software programming, I cant imagine what kind of software meltdown they had. The longest downtime I ever witnessed was approx 6 hours, and that was considered "catastrophic". Any large banking system runs redundant "mirror" systems at remote sites to enable quick disaster recovery from something like this. Being down for five days looks very suspicious to me, or it could simply be complete incompetence in running a large banking software infrastructure. (most likely)

I'm not going to throw out conspiracy theories but this is just not right, I would be pulling my money out as soon as I was able to. As I'm sure, many will.

Sat, 06/23/2012 - 14:04 | 2554031 Skateboarder
Skateboarder's picture

As someone who authors quality software, I'll be the red devil dude on your shoulder for this one. Gimme a debugger and I'll show 'em the line they're fuckin up on in twenty minutes and fix the code that was fuckin up in an hour (maybe an exaggeration). Any programmer with half a brain can do the same also. I'm sure they have at least one crusty nerd who can fix this shit up in an hour.

Def conspiracy shit bro, put yer tin foil hats on.

Sat, 06/23/2012 - 14:15 | 2554059 LULZBank
LULZBank's picture

Def conspiracy shit bro, put yer tin foil hats on.

"No, no.. We're British, we dont have things like that over here. Its just a silly little bugger somewhere in the software, coincidently, the same days as Moody's downgrades."

Note: Its "coincidence" theories, not conspiracy theories.

Sat, 06/23/2012 - 14:25 | 2554105 Skateboarder
Skateboarder's picture

Coincidence makes it okay to expect expected values outside of our probability space.

Since we're in the business of metricized Bullshit and Asshattery anyway (the B & A of MBA...), I propose we formulate a new metric: the Coincidence Correlation Coefficient.

It relates two events as to how coincidental they were. And to be able to spout that kind of number out, my friends, makes us top-notch analysts. Whoo, analysis.

Sat, 06/23/2012 - 15:04 | 2554249 HardlyZero
HardlyZero's picture

It all comes out golden in the

Sat, 06/23/2012 - 17:12 | 2554525 slewie the pi-rat
slewie the pi-rat's picture

not really sk8boredr

since correlation is not causation, this is exactly what everybody is already doing

some folks love their dog so much that when it dies they can't bear to stop buying it dogfood

Sat, 06/23/2012 - 19:04 | 2554719 knukles
knukles's picture

Man, I had trouble for about 4 months before I could bring myself to stop having sex with mine after it died. 
I have empathy.
Highly traumatic.

Sat, 06/23/2012 - 22:28 | 2555026 Hulk
Hulk's picture

Ya sick bastard...

Sat, 06/23/2012 - 14:21 | 2554086 sablya
sablya's picture

I think it was an insider job.  A disgruntled knowledgable person with access to the software has buried a bomb in there that is very hard to figure out.  A lesser master of the code would have a hard time debugging something like that.

Sat, 06/23/2012 - 14:30 | 2554124 Nage42
Nage42's picture

But they've outsourced to India 3 months ago, and the original system stack has had 3 months of Masala added.  As anyone who's had a proper curry stain on their shirt before, there's no getting the Masala out, you've got to throw out the whole shirt and buy a new one.



Sun, 06/24/2012 - 11:24 | 2555699 Vendetta
Vendetta's picture

exactly and highly likely, the bank can save like $350,000 a year in domestic wages paid and give that money in bonuses instead to managment.  Having done some 12 bank websites, backend server transactions, in the US years ago...98% of the programming staff got canned as they setup shop in bangalore. 

Sat, 06/23/2012 - 19:42 | 2554784 Quicksilver
Quicksilver's picture

I'd say that crusty nerd was let go long ago, but is in a very strong negotiating position right now.

I think a big part of the problem now is that they are playing catch up, every batch window they miss the more difficult it gets to put things right.

Sat, 06/23/2012 - 14:12 | 2554048 sablya
sablya's picture

That's exactly right.  There is no chance that even the most catastrophic system failure could produce an outage lasting 5 days.  Software glitches do not break the system like that.  Software upgrades do not cause such catastrophic outages because they are tested before release and if a serious issue is discovered after release, the software can quickly and easily be rolled back to the previous version within a few hours.  Plus, there is always redundancy in the system, and code is always rolled out in waves so that the entire system is never affected at once.  I don't buy their story at all.

Sat, 06/23/2012 - 14:51 | 2554201 Skateboarder
Skateboarder's picture

But then again, they might be an Agile or Scrum shop, in which case they should die anyway.

Sat, 06/23/2012 - 19:52 | 2554788 BidnessMan
BidnessMan's picture

You are describing what SHOULD happen.  However, if the Patels in India did not have a solid regression test set, it might be the old "Patch and Pray" blowing up in their faces.

Of course there is a chance.  How motivated were the soon to be sacked UK RBS IT staffers to do knowledge transfer?  On a contract with a conversion deadline?  With documentation that could easily have not been quite current or accurate?  Training and documentation is always the first thing to get shortchanged when a project gets into a schedule or budget crunch.   

If you were a (former) loyal RBS IT staffer about to get sacked, you might just do the minimum during the transition to have a bit of schadenfreude about getting replaced.  Good luck Boys!  You are going to need it. 

Sun, 06/24/2012 - 11:54 | 2555744 Dr. Kananga
Dr. Kananga's picture

Add me to the list of IT pros who doesn't think it's a 'glitch.' Systems dedicated to handling $$$ are damn near bulletproof with all the redundancy and backup and no IT department worth their nickel is going to do something stupid like go live with an untested upgrade on a mission crit system.

So this may mean, from a tech perspective, they either have the most incompetent tech engineering around--which doesn't inspire confidence or possibly they've been seriously, seriously hacked to the bone.

The only reason the press and the bank can get away with calling this a 'glitch' is because the public must imagine that financial networks operate like their desktop environment at home. "Oh yeah, my computer locks up all the time when I'm on Facebook! Damn Windows!--just have to reboot, righty?"

Sat, 06/23/2012 - 17:50 | 2554615 NumNutt
NumNutt's picture

I also have worked in the banking industry on the IT side. The only thing in my experience that comes to mind that could cause a 5 day outage would be some type of Database corruption issue, which would explain why people are unable to see accurate account info. This could be an issue where they discovered something that had been on going for a period of time and when they discovered it they had to go back say 1 month and reconcile all the user accounts.  Banks review their books monthly, if they missed a large fund trasnfer that usually arrives on a specific date it could take up to 30 days before they catch it.  I worked in the data communications industry for a large (worlds largest at the time I was there) credit card processor. We dealt with large financial data files that were transfered between associations (Visa, Mastercard, Amex) and the banks, and yes for some reason a file would get screwed up sometimes, and require the back office to figure out why and to correct the issue. A lot of time and effort was spent on these types of issues. Never saw a bank system down for 5 days before, I would be worried if my money was in there....Then again it is government owned, and they tend to not be the sharpest tools in the shed...

Sat, 06/23/2012 - 13:52 | 2553990 Irish66
Irish66's picture

Black rock?
Prasad from them to Rbs, mortgage securities

Sat, 06/23/2012 - 13:52 | 2553996 tony wilson
tony wilson's picture

You must remember this
A rbs glitch is just a glitch a sigh is just a sigh.
The fundamental things of Pi
as a bank run goes bye bye.



Sat, 06/23/2012 - 15:05 | 2554253 Cathartes Aura
Cathartes Aura's picture

"Twenty-four hour party, people!!"


Sat, 06/23/2012 - 13:52 | 2553997 Negro Primero
Negro Primero's picture

"Another mysterious 'computer glitch' (nudge nudge wink wink) reportedly stops payments on California's food stamp cards." (?!?)!

Sat, 06/23/2012 - 14:32 | 2554129 XitSam
XitSam's picture

Can't find any more news about this. Which isn't to say it isn't happening. 

Sat, 06/23/2012 - 16:36 | 2554445 KK Tipton
KK Tipton's picture

Sounds like a Sorcha Fail production? Who knows these days.

I personally love this one:
380 American Rebels Reported Killed In Michigan Battle | -

"After a “prolonged skirmish” between these rebel forces and Obama regime federal police, this report continues, the US Military launched a series of airstrikes, the largest being a 2,000 lb laser guided bomb that hit in the middle of those gathered at this meeting killing over three quarters of them instantly."


Edit:'s george4title on YT. That explains it.
These fantasy (govt. backed) disinformation creeps are not helping anybody. All is going according to the big plan though.

Sat, 06/23/2012 - 13:57 | 2554014 AchtungAffen
AchtungAffen's picture

I loves me some Schdoinger currency

Sat, 06/23/2012 - 15:06 | 2554257 HardlyZero
HardlyZero's picture

Probably worth something.

Sat, 06/23/2012 - 16:26 | 2554438 Ineverslice
Ineverslice's picture

"Schrodinger's currency"....killin' me!

If you see's not there.    Bank run

Sat, 06/23/2012 - 14:08 | 2554036 The Gooch
The Gooch's picture

You don't own what you don't hold. The "big glitch" is comin' down the mountain...

Sat, 06/23/2012 - 14:11 | 2554044 Seasmoke
Seasmoke's picture

dont worry , your money now is being held by JPM

Sat, 06/23/2012 - 14:12 | 2554047 monkeyfaction
monkeyfaction's picture

RBS have recently offshored a lot of their IT to India and sacked the UK based staff. I wonder if they got rid of the people that know how to fix issues like this (or prevent them in the first place)?

Sat, 06/23/2012 - 14:15 | 2554058 sablya
sablya's picture

One possibility is sabotage.  Given the cutbacks at RBS, a disgruntled employee with critical access could have broken things in a way that would be difficult to fix.

Sat, 06/23/2012 - 16:55 | 2554484 css1971
css1971's picture

Yknow when it comes to complex systems a disgruntled employee isn't necessary. All that's needed is for the knowledge on how the system works and is supposed to work to be lost.

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