RBS claims that the problems that have frozen accounts of NatWest and RBS customers are all-but over (although it needs a little more time for Ulster Bank's related woes). And now the media goes into overdrive with the 'revelation' that RBS's systems are a mish-mash of ancient legacy software, overseen by 'outsourced' overseas labour.
Well, I dare say most other UK banks should be worried that it just as easily have been them. There, but for the grace of
<deity> go they.
Large banks have to deal with a frightening volume of transactions (which, as Channel 4 News helpfully pointed out this evening need to be applied in the correct order). But large banks these days tend to be large because they're the result of mergers between several other banks.
So the historical baggage from the melding together of different systems, plus the general bit-rot one normally expects from legacy systems, can be a disaster just waiting to happen. It probably could have happened to any of the big UK banks.
It may be comforting to blame 'incompetent' outsourced staff, but people shouldn't let casual racism lull them into a false sense of security.
Richi Jennings , editor of Input Output UK, is also an independent analyst, specializing in blogging, email, spam, security, and other technology topics. His writing has won ASBPE and Neal awards. You can encircle him at +richi, follow him as @richi on Twitter, pretend to be his friend at Facebook.com/richij or just use boring old email: email@example.com.