I know i’ve spoken about this in the past, but considering how many people have been caught out recently by this whole St George fiasco, I figured I would talk about it again.
So What’s Happened?
Sometime on Saturday St George (and a few other smaller affiliated banks) had a scheduled outage to do some “routine” maintenance. From what I have read here, it looks like their IT department found that some records were corrupted after the maintenance and so they needed to take things offline again. A quote from the SMH:
But when the system came back up early Sunday morning, a major data corruption was found by IT experts in the IBM mainframe Information Management System (IMS) database hosting the data, so all systems were shut back down about midday Sunday AEDT, a source close to the bank told Fairfax Media.
The upshot of all this is that the bank should have contingency plans to deal with this type of event. Obviously the things haven’t gone to plan, as 3 days later St George customers are still enjoying an unscheduled bank holiday.
Needless to say, there are some pretty unhappy customers, with many people having to ask friends and relatives for money just to get by. The reason they are having to ask for money is simple – they only bank with 1 financial institution.
What YOU Can Do
Have a think about your own life and how different it might look if you were unable to gain access to your money in the bank after 3 days. Some people it might not be an issue at all, while for others, it could be a catastrophe. Not everyone has someone they can hit up to access funds when they are left high and dry.
This exact scenario is exactly why I advocate spreading your money across at least 2 banks – more if you can. I personally have money with 4 different banks (plus other online only finance sites like PayPal). The majority of my money is with 1 bank to offset my mortgage, but if shit hits the fan there, I know that I have enough to cover me for a month or so should I need it.
It’s almost like taking out an insurance policy. You hope you will never need to use it, but if you have to you will be glad it’s there.
And just a couple of posts from the St George Facebook page from their customers