Monday, 2 January 2012

Why are banks so stupid?

A bank. As stupid as the rest, but at
least it looks interesting
I can't believe the stupidity of banks. I'm not referring to all the usual reasons for hating bankers (like their bonuses and breaking our economy) - but because their computer systems are so rubbish.

A lot of this stems from their philosophical inability to recognize weekends and bank holidays. 'What, us, work like normal people in a service industry? Do us a favour?' You might think they do work at the weekend. After all many banks are now 'open' on Saturdays. But that is just a shadow, a ghost of a bank, to fool you into thinking they care. All the transactions they make at the weekend or on bank holidays are saved up to go through on the next 'working day', because their computers don't believe it is really possible to work at the weekend.

Here's one ludicrous example. I have a standing order that goes out on the first of the month. If I go online today, 2 January, which this year is a bank holiday because New Year's Day is on a Sunday, and try to change this standing order I'm presented with the following conflicting information. When's the next upcoming payment? 1 January 2012 (as it won't be processed until the 3rd). Can I change the next transaction? No because you can't change a transaction in the past. But I want to change the  next one. In the future. Argggh.

Picture from Wikipedia


  1. Here´s another one, Brian. Banks are trying to get their customers to switch from paper statements for their accounts to electronic ones because it is greener and saves money as well as trees. However, if you want to do something like set up a mortgage or some other new activity with a bank, although they already know who you are and what your banking history is they insist on provision of the last 3 months´ bank statements. These have to be originals issued by the bank and not printed off from the internet. If you want a bank-issued one you have to pay for it - and they ain´t cheap!!

  2. Indeed, Perry - their computer systems may be quite good now, but their business systems are still often archaic.

  3. Banks are trying to get their customers to switch to electronic statements because it saves them money - being greener and saving trees has nothing to do with it.