FNB Online Banking Restored... An apology, some sweat and a bit of pride.

Tough times indeed. I have the utmost respect and empathy for FNB's tech teams over the last couple of days as they battled against the gremlins of infrastructure. And more than that - I have sympathy for the reams of FNB clients that were put out at month end.

I'm a client. I couldn't log in either and I know how disruptive these down-times can be. Especially at the beginning of the month.

While nothing can excuse the ordeal, I'm pretty proud of all the teams that were involved, not only for their commitment to fixing the problem (they had to, didn't they) - but mostly to the transparency with which they handled it.

I was involved on the side when the first messages had to go up over the login fields, and what will stay with me from this experience - is that there wasn't a question of how to spin it. There wasn't a question of how to put some legally disclaimer up. There wasn't a question of how to get around the issue. It was only about telling the truth, offering any alternatives we could and just trying to alleviate the stress of our customers.

It's the best you could hope for in a situation as critical as this. And also, once we're past the pain, an amazing indicator of how critical the channel of the future is.

A note from Michael Jordaan - from all of us.

FNB Online Banking Restored

While I sincerely hope that you have not been affected, you may have been one of our unfortunate customers who experienced slow response on our internet banking platform.

Please accept my sincerest apologies for the poor levels of service on our online banking systems over the last two days.

The cause of the slow system response was a major upgrade over the preceding weekend that resulted in huge increase in volumes. However, I wish to assure you that our systems are now fully restored.

I hope to see you back on our internet banking portal in the next few days and once again offer my apologies for the inconvenience caused.

For any further assistance, please contact your Relationship Manager or FNB Online our call centre on 086011 22 44.

Yours sincerely
Michael Jordaan
Chief Executive Office

PS I'm bracing for some anger in the comments. Ol' RB will be around on this blog to answer any questions you may have...


  1. Quite interesting points you raise. I, however, stand to be corrected when I say the only message that was displayed was something to the effect that Online banking is offline, please try again later, when we tried logging in. I, only got wind of the upgrade from the Moneyweb website after doing some googling (what would we do without google). You speak of transparency yet I don't remember seeing any message, on FNB's home page, informing us of the upgrade and the unfortunate result. We are talking of Coporate clients here and to think that this problem was not "newsworthy" enough to get some space on the homepage really baffles me. Business decisions are made based this kind of information and to merely say "Online Banking is not available" gives the impression that it just went offline a second ago and will be restored almost immediately. A system upgrade is a very serious process and should be afforded the seriousness it deserves especially when such misdemeanors occur soon after. Please help me here, did I miss that message??

  2. Hey Patty... I saw quite a few messages that the Online team posted. The first couple, were as you said generic - but they got a lot more descriptive. At one point, I remember the Online team replaced the entire front banner with a notification / apology...

  3. My key Online banking users did not see the said messages. A message is only a message if the intended audience has access to it in the correct format and on the proper page, at the right time. I believe that I have a fair enough appreciation of IT and Internet to pick up such messages more especially when I get notification from end-users to investigate the unavailability of "Online banking". I do not bank with FNB so when I went to the FNB website it was to investigate why my users couldn't access Online banking and such messages would definitely have caught my attention. My point is, we are corporate users and critical information such as system upgrades should not be 'hidden' from us more-so when a it's an upgrade gone wrong. The CEO's message was put up rather late, if u ask me. Perhaps it was just me and my entire executive team (well, at least those who do online authorisations) that missed the crucial messages. What a pity.


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