Image: © DJC
Two major U.K. banking institutions – Lloyds Bank and Halifax – have experienced outages. For both financial centres, which are owned by the same parent company, the website and app went down for two days in a row, causing frustration for personal and business customers.
After day one, despite the banks apologising to customers, providing service updates, and claiming services were back to normal, customers awoke the next day to find they were still unable to access online services, with some customers even reporting their balances are showing up as ‘n/a’. These access issues occurred during the height of the August holiday period.
Such a long outage of services is unprecedented, especially when it comes to an established banking group like Lloyds, and the social media reactions indicated that the experience had left many customers feeling very frustrated.
Jon Lucas, co-founder and director of Hyve Managed Hosting, tells Digital Journal what the outage means for customer service.
According Lucas: “As the cost of living crisis in the UK cripples citizens’ disposable incomes, it’s alarming that customers of Lloyds Bank haven’t been able to access their online banking accounts, view their balances or make other transactions digitally.”
Lucas adds that for the impact to continue beyond one day is remarkable: “It’s even more alarming that 24 hours on from the initial server outage, customers are still struggling to regain access. It seems that the ripple effects of the outage are only being exacerbated, instead of swiftly mitigated.”
Looking at the wider business response, Lucas notes: “Whilst unplanned downtime can’t always be anticipated, a business’ reaction to outages is crucial, particularly when it comes to disaster recovery procedures and communication with those affected.”
He adds that time means everything: “Businesses and consumers today deal in seconds, not hours or even days. In today’s always-on age, being offline for 24 hours is hugely damaging – to reputations, to customer loyalty and to the bottom line.”
Lucas pinpoint a weakness with many business systems pertaining to the use and operation of the cloud: “There’s a reason the industry standard in cloud computing is 99.999% uptime. When it comes to that elusive 0.001%, Lloyds Bank needs to scrutinise its cloud infrastructure and make sure that it has best-in-class support and the right blend of technology underpinning an immediate fix.”