The shambles resulting from a failed computer update at RBS, NatWest and Ulster Bank is now extending to a week, and there are predictions that the knock-on effects and compensation claims may last for months. It's now been revealed that "control" of the failed update was with a support team based in India. RBS has denied that their outsourcing programme has anything to do with the disaster.
Since Mr Hester took the helm at RBS following the interesting stewardship of Fred Goodwin, 30,000 jobs have been shed, and thousands of posts outsourced to cheaper locations. The current debacle seems to have involved the deletion of critical files on two successive nightly "updates". Was no-one watching what was going on? The re-processing in sequence of all the failed transactions is one reason for the slow recovery, but surely there should have been better checks in place?
Hundreds of thousands of people are inconvenienced, out of pocket, and may have their credit ratings damaged by this fiasco. However, the highly-paid executives at the top of the banks will have little problem paying their weekly bills, and are no doubt still looking forward to tidy bonuses as a result of their work. I find it inconceivable that a CEO presiding over one of the worst banking cock-ups in recent memory should even consider holding his hand out for a seven-figure bonus. At least bank robbers have the decency to wear a mask before heading off into the distance with our cash.
But it's not just about bonuses. A CEO is the person with whom responsibility rests when a company fails to serve its customers. If I was in Stephen Hester's shoes, I would be pondering the words of the great Wandsworth philosopher Mick Jones; "Should I stay or should I go?"