Co-op Bank's creaky IT should be flogged off, growls

Not confident plans to address tech woes are enough – sources

The Co-operative Bank's creaking IT is so shaky it should be sold off, according to senior government officials.

Sources told The Times that the concerns centre on the bank’s disaster recovery plan. They suggested a bigger player should buy the bank and stabilise its IT system.

The concerns reflect issues outlined in the bank's March annual report, which warned that the bank's infrastructure is in need of an upgrade in numerous respects.

"Across the Bank’s IT infrastructure there are varying levels of resilience and recoverability and whilst a basic level of resilience to a significant data centre outage is in place, the bank does not currently have a proven end-to-end disaster recovery capability," it said.

Co-op is currently in the process of migrating its IT infrastructure to an IBM platform, a project expected to be complete by the end of 2016. However, the report noted the project carries significant execution risk.

Regulators the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority are closely supervising the firm as it works towards restoring its technology compliance. The FCA has informed Co-op that its technology issues constitute a breach of its Threshold Conditions, which include an outline of the minimum standards for technology.

The FCA has the power to take action in the future in relation to this breach.

In 2013, a group of hedge funds took control of the bank from the wider Co-operative Group in a £1.5 billion restructuring. Following the buy-out, in November the bank confirmed plans to spend £500m on overhauling its creaking IT infrastructure after years of "under-investment".

The "primary focus" is "remediation of existing system issues" to meet commitments to regulators and create an IT rig that improves the web-based and mobile banking services, it said.

Pete Coleman, the bank's former CIO who was responsible for putting together Co-Op's IT strategy, stepped down from the bank in April.

A spokesman for Co-op Bank said its IT resilience was improving on a daily basis. ®

Similar topics

Broader topics

Other stories you might like

  • Despite 'key' partnership with AWS, Meta taps up Microsoft Azure for AI work
    Someone got Zuck'd

    Meta’s AI business unit set up shop in Microsoft Azure this week and announced a strategic partnership it says will advance PyTorch development on the public cloud.

    The deal [PDF] will see Mark Zuckerberg’s umbrella company deploy machine-learning workloads on thousands of Nvidia GPUs running in Azure. While a win for Microsoft, the partnership calls in to question just how strong Meta’s commitment to Amazon Web Services (AWS) really is.

    Back in those long-gone days of December, Meta named AWS as its “key long-term strategic cloud provider." As part of that, Meta promised that if it bought any companies that used AWS, it would continue to support their use of Amazon's cloud, rather than force them off into its own private datacenters. The pact also included a vow to expand Meta’s consumption of Amazon’s cloud-based compute, storage, database, and security services.

    Continue reading
  • Atos pushes out HPC cloud services based on Nimbix tech
    Moore's Law got you down? Throw everything at the problem! Quantum, AI, cloud...

    IT services biz Atos has introduced a suite of cloud-based high-performance computing (HPC) services, based around technology gained from its purchase of cloud provider Nimbix last year.

    The Nimbix Supercomputing Suite is described by Atos as a set of flexible and secure HPC solutions available as a service. It includes access to HPC, AI, and quantum computing resources, according to the services company.

    In addition to the existing Nimbix HPC products, the updated portfolio includes a new federated supercomputing-as-a-service platform and a dedicated bare-metal service based on Atos BullSequana supercomputer hardware.

    Continue reading
  • In record year for vulnerabilities, Microsoft actually had fewer
    Occasional gaping hole and overprivileged users still blight the Beast of Redmond

    Despite a record number of publicly disclosed security flaws in 2021, Microsoft managed to improve its stats, according to research from BeyondTrust.

    Figures from the National Vulnerability Database (NVD) of the US National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) show last year broke all records for security vulnerabilities. By December, according to pentester Redscan, 18,439 were recorded. That's an average of more than 50 flaws a day.

    However just 1,212 vulnerabilities were reported in Microsoft products last year, said BeyondTrust, a 5 percent drop on the previous year. In addition, critical vulnerabilities in the software (those with a CVSS score of 9 or more) plunged 47 percent, with the drop in Windows Server specifically down 50 percent. There was bad news for Internet Explorer and Edge vulnerabilities, though: they were up 280 percent on the prior year, with 349 flaws spotted in 2021.

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022