Co-op Bank Site Wobbles


(Danny) #1

(Jamie 🏳️‍🌈) #2

Is the journalist being shady about Co-op’s bio saying ‘do not tweet bank details’ and then asking for error messages? Is sharing error messages an insecure thing to do, or is the reporter pointing out that the Co-op is saying the right thing?


(Tony Hoyle) #3

I think the coop asking people to tweet error messages shows a certain lack of organisation… doesn’t their internal monitoring tell them when the site failed anyway? I can’t believe they need outsiders to tell them this.


#4

Hmm, Co Op bank haven’t had the best of the recent past, a CEO who went off the rails, black holes in finances, bail outs, maybe they haven’t had too much cash kicking around to keep pace with the IT side of things.

Co Op bank themselves don’t strike me as too stable as a whole their website could be representative of the banks ‘having a bit of a wobble’!


(Hugh) #5

Hmmm, it depends.
Sometimes it is useful if customers report specific error messages as it helps you line up reports with the log files.


(Adam Williams) #6

The way we handled the error reporting situation when I was working as a web developer was to issue an opaque token with every error. We wouldn’t expose the technical information in the production environment, but we’d both log the error and give the user a token they could provide in order to follow up. I think Google does the same with their “highly trained monkeys” messages:


(Tony Hoyle) #7

That’s fine until you get sent a screenshot of that error (embedded in a word document, as is tradition)… good luck typing it in.

Keep it simple… a short error code and a timestamp is enough.


(Hugh) #8

Agree with that.

We use standard HTTP error codes and dump the timestamp, some of the headers (user agent, set-cookie etc.) and have a unique code which references to a request field in the database plus any errors generated in a separate table. There is also standard logging if the issue is with the database.


#9

I’m a Co-op Bank customer and all I can say is I have had no problems. Maybe I happened to have not used the Co-op’s site during the overrun of the planned maintenance. I’m having no current issues (neither with the main site nor the phone app).
I don’t remember any CEO “going off the rails”, though some issues around the Chairman came to light a while back.
I think, like many banks in the recent past, the Coop’s problems were largely around bad lending (which they had inherited) and which they seem to have resolved without any Government ball out.
They have been completing a big IT upgrade and a refinancing to meet the now more stringent UK backing requirements.


(Hugh) #10

#11

Paul Flowers, the Chairman.


#12

Sorry, the Chairman not the CEO, but in broad strokes senior management then.

No one mentioned government bail outs, but as I understand it, Co Op now don’t actually own much if anything of ‘Co Op’ bank after the bail out. They made the rather disastrous decision to buy Brittana, and then found a huge black hole in their finances.


#13

Yep, that’s about right. (I think The Co-op Group has a mere 1% or so these days)…
From a personal banking point of view, though, I can’t say I’ve had any significant issues with them in 40 years.


(Hugh) #14

They recently sold a big stake iirc.


#15

I recall 70% at first, and more recently the remainder pretty much. The Coop sold other businesses too, to help fill the gap. My view is it was either do that or let the bank fail and leave it for the Govt (Taxpayers) to step in, as with the other bank failures.


#16

I think the regulators put extra reporting requirements on them some months ago now as they were concerned for the stability and future of the bank.


#17

No I tried them a good few years ago and were okay the website was quite basic. I had a dormant account which I finally closed about a month ago. Co Op’s phone service was very helpful and they closed my account without any great issues.

Anyway, I’ve decidedly higher hopes for Monzo.


#18

Yes, hence the recent further restructuring to meet the toughened (post crisis) banking rules I believe.


#19

I def go with that.
There was a time (when smile was launched) when the web site was cutting edge. But then nothing was done for years to keep pace with change.
Legacy banks eh? But then that’s why we are all here isn’t it :smile:


#20

Blimey, Smile, I banked with them many moons ago. They were the Monzo of their time, cutting edge.

Hopefully Monzo will avoid the same fate in 20+ years time!!!

As you say, it’s why we’re here, in the pursuit of something new and better.