Nationwide invests in tech (and general Nationwide feedback)

I think this by far the most important point that underpins the rest, and articulates better my hunch that perhaps ‘education’ hasn’t yet caught up with these profound structural changes to society and economy. I think these changes raise questions and present challenges where there’s currently limited consensus on how best to adapt to and manage the transition.

Specifically thinking about banks, and senior management and c-level positions, they are usually filled with people coming from the best schools and best programs (!), so I think it’s not unreasonable to consider they are a product of this experience, and also the experience of the culture within the organisations of where they have worked, Max Weber’s ‘Iron Cage’ if you will - hence the shaky hypothesis on a potential learning/thought gap, with outdated models, ideas behind the curve, etc. I am realistic that it can take time for changes to ‘wash’ through the system, but

ha! sorry, I should have better articulated that it is a commonly held view, one which I hope I made clear that don’t buy in to, for the examples I gave.

I really appreciate this sentiment, but I think it verges on hyperbole. When WeWork tell me they are tech company, an analyst tells me Tesla are tech, or a stockbroker that tells me they aren’t in financial services, but a tech company, I can’t help but think of the businesses that add Blockchain to their name, because…? On the one hand it’s an easy, dare I say it lazy attempt to categorise new business paradigms, and on the other hand it feels like a cynical attempt to ride the slipstream of the Next Big Thing.

Sure, many of these businesses may be using technology to innovate or even transform a sector, but I don’t see how this necessarily makes them ‘tech’. I completely understand why a business wants to identify with the broader technology sector, given the impact on our daily lives, as well as portfolios. And I also get why they want differentiate between the incumbents, “we aren’t them”. But if Nationwide conduct a root to branch transformation, leveraging technology to reinvent financial services, are they a tech company, a fintech, or still just a building society? The amount of meetings where people ask how they can be “the Apple of”, or “more like Google in…”, and I always say the same thing. It’s about mindset, it’s about culture, rather than underlying technology, which I think ties nicely back to @Peter_G’s last bullet point.

Taken at face value, I think this is quite a dangerous position to take. What is best for business? A race to the bottom in which maximum efficiency leads to an increase in profits but also the marginalisation and exclusion of large numbers of employees and their dependants? I’d argue that’s probably not best for anyone in the long term…

As an Adam Smith capitalist, I think we need leaders courageous enough to provide meaningful leadership and policy that encourages innovation and growth in the economy whilst balancing the need for sustainable, equitable opportunities for society and citizens. That probably means better, smarter regulation, and as well as a wholesale rethink of taxation, the role of the state and the social contract.

Crumbs, massive apologies for steering this wildly off topic!


Taken at face value, I think this is quite a dangerous position to take. What is best for business? A race to the bottom in which maximum efficiency leads to an increase in profits but also the marginalisation and exclusion of large numbers of employees and their dependants?

Isn’t a business supposed to maximise profit for their investors, instead of being a shelter for people who refuse to adapt to a changing job market and different skill requirements? Considering the amount of free learning material available online nowadays, I really cannot feel bad for anyone with a no longer relevant position that gets laid off.

There definitely needs to be an additional solution such as universal basic income, but that’s a discussion for another day. However, I cannot agree with the fact that we should hold back from efficiency just because of the “poor” irrelevant employees that don’t want to learn a skill that delivers actual value (I’d argue that many of those positions never delivered value in the first place, and managed to get away with it for now. But the times are changing and the market is demanding more - tough luck I guess.)

Nationwide’s app will be unusable until tomorrow afternoon due to “planned maintenance”. You can log in but all you can do is look at an out of date summary balance.

How is that acceptable in 2018? Whether it’s “planned” or not, this looks like their stack is falling apart and they need 12 hours to sellotape it back together.


I’ll be honest, I’m fine with it. In fact, it’s quite common with Nationwide. I just wait till it’s done, then do what I need to do.

Nearly all banks have at some point in the last 2 years taken their apps or websites offline for planned maintenance, partly due to the ring fencing regulations and party due to a number of other regulations they have to abide by. New banks and apps should have less planned maintenance, however they are subject to changes in regulations in the future, so no guarantee they won’t have to do the same. In fact how many times have Monzo stopped accepting cards for a set period due to planned maintenance ? It’s not limited to high street banks.

Nationwide seems to take a day off every other weekend, not every 2 years.

What does ringfencing and other regulation have to do with nationwide needing to turn itself off for 12 hours all the time?

Are they making sure all the knobs and levers inside their behemoth comply with regulations or are they actually building a fence in there to isolate all the different crumbling systems?

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Making sure all the punch cards are in the correct order, maybe?

Anyway, I’d rather they maintained it than didn’t. Also, it’s always overnight at a weekend, so fairly predictable.


It’s very predictable indeed.

I think I’m the only person annoyed by it because the only time I seem to go on there is on a Sunday morning. Probably 10, maybe 20 times in the last few years I’ve not been able to use it.

I love the fact that Monzo doesn’t do this.

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There’s a simple solution, then :joy:

I checked my Nationwide app a few hours ago and it was fine. There were some new transactions which weren’t there yesterday, so they maybe finished early.

Then maybe Nationwide isn’t for you, if it happens so regularly.

I think this year, Llloyds have done it 4 times, Barclays 5 or 6, its not strange.

Monzo have had maintenance at least 2 times I remember.

Yes, the maintenance if very common with Nationwide and “seems” to be every few weeks. It doesn’t bother me, but I do wonder why their system seems to need so many more maintenance events that affect customers than other banking systems.

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When did Monzo have planned maintenance?

I can’t remember Monzo having any significant downtime. There’s been some intermittent issues, but nothing that has taken the service out completely. From a personal perspective, while I’ve known about them, none have actually affected me (yet).

Of course, the difference with Monzo is that we can look up the service history and check - which we really can’t do with other banks.

Yeah. I’m pretty sure Monzo don’t do planned maintenance, they do live updates to a small portion of users then roll it out further if no issues. The way it should be if millions of people need access at any time of the day or week.

For all the people saying “don’t use it then” you’ll be pleased to know I’m gonna ditch this wasteman bank when Monzo launches cash deposits :slightly_smiling_face:


Here we go… with Monzo are amazing and don’t do anything like maintenance.

10th September

Identified: We’re currently performing scheduled maintenance on our bank transfer systems. Inbound and outbound payments may be delayed but all payments will be processed as soon as we have completed maintenance. Customers should not retry inbound or ou…

That is from the Monzo Status Twitter, previously to July it was on the Main Monzo twitter or Status page. I’m not going to trawl through to prove my point. If you all wish to believe Monzo never does maintenance, so be it.

Been 2 or 3 where the 3rd party who do faster payments did maintenance. Think it was about half an hour max for each

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I’m not sure if that’s a response to me or not, but what I said was “I can’t remember Monzo having any significant downtime”.

I think the word ‘maintenance’ is a red herring. No one wants a bank, Monzo or otherwise, to be unavailable when they need it. My point was that Monzo has never (to my knowledge) been completely unavailable - and certainly I haven’t ever noticed any degraded service when I wanted to use it.

This isn’t a binary thing. Or a Monzo vs the world thing. But if you want to turn it into a comparison, Monzo (and other modern banks) seem to be better at recovering and avoiding long outages.

As I say, it’s helpful that we can actually look at Monzo’s status history. You can’t with every bank.

Nah just in general.

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As far as I’m aware you’ve always been able to login to your monzo and starling account. Other banks you have to accept not being able to use the app at all at certain times.

A lot of legacy banks will take themselves offline for a few minutes overnight to allow their batches to process, allowing you to login during this time would result in you seeing wrong balances and information while the batch runs which in turn brings confusion and doubt to your account information.

Even though it doesn’t happen often the banks regulatory compliance and risk teams will require technology and in turn the copywriters to pad the time that the batch takes to run to account for delays and any issues

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