Half the team at the heart of the RBS disaster WERE in India

Chiefs warned repeatedly on quality of offshored work

Exclusive Cost-cutting RBS management had halved the team within which the banking group's recent data disaster happened, sources have told The Register. The sacked British employees were replaced by staff in India, and there had been concerns about the quality of the work done in India for a lengthy period prior to last week's catastrophe.

Mishandling of batch schedule data while backing out of an update to CA-7 batch processing software last week caused the disruption [1] that led to 16.9 million customers at RBS, Natwest and Ulsterbank being frozen out of their accounts for days, and ongoing issues in some cases.

The actual CA-7 software support team is wholly based in the UK and according to our sources, RBS has not cut that team.

However the batch scheduling team in the UK was cut, and certain of the jobs taken from the UK were made up with staff from RBS's Indian offices at Technology Services India [2]. Though there were competent people working there, our sources said quality of work from India was patchy and that they had raised these problems with RBS management for the past two years.

Batch scheduling and why it's important

Batch scheduling is intrinsic to the process of the nightly data crunching performed by CA-7. The batch scheduling team prepare and schedule data for input into CA-7, gathering it from RBS's systems.

One source said:

The batch team was about 60 guys ... they ran applications that chose the jobs that ran - maintaining the CA-7 schedule, not the CA-7 support ... There were no redundancies in the CA-7 team but the batch support were taken down to about 30.

A second source told us that all UK-based RBS IT teams in areas considered non-critical had suffered redundancies of 50-70 per cent, depending on the individual teams. In many cases the headcount in the cut departments was maintained by hiring staff in RBS's Technology Services India.

The job advert we have previously reported [3] for a CA-7 consultant in India would have been for the batch scheduling team, not for the CA-7 software support team itself. These screen grabs of a CV from LinkedIn, supplied to us by the cantankerous blog [4] (the information has now been taken down) confirm that RBS runs at least one batch scheduling team in its offshore branch in India.

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This meant RBS lost experienced employees familiar with their complex mainframe systems:

On the batch team a lot of them were lifers, had been working on that for many years.

As noted in previous Reg stories, it is understood that the error was made when backing out of an upgrade from CA-7 v11.1 to v11.3. The CA-7 upgrade took place at the weekend of 16/17th June and a problem was noticed on Monday which prompted a back-out from the upgrade on Tuesday night. In the back-out, an "inexperienced operator" made the wrong move and the day's data was wiped from the system. This created the backlog that has taken so long to clear.

Quality problems with work from RBS India

Both sources told us that though RBS's Technology Services India branch contained very competent people, the quality of work from there was patchy, and team managers frequently flagged up problems from about the quality of the work from India.

In several cases it was hard to recruit enough staff with the right skills.

"Team managers were struggling to get enough qualified staff, and were forced to take on people they had previously rejected. They were forced to take them to keep headcount," one source says. "People were considered to be fine technically but inexperienced."

A second source backed that up: "They obviously learn UNIX at uni but they don't know about IBM mainframes."

As a result there seemed to be frequent issues with the work performed. "We experienced great frustration" said one source, "some teams were great, but many we found we couldn't trust or struggled with."

One of our sources described an instance where he had overseen an upgrade to one of the bank's important systems (not the batch processing in this case) and described how the whole team involved in RBS UK and RBS India had to collaborate on the upgrade plan and the back-out plan:

I sent an email about the back-out plan [to the team in Technology Services India] and had to send it to them three times. All they had to do was copy and paste something into the back-out plan. In the end I had to get the quality control guy to cut and paste this into the back-out plan document. It took three emails just to copy and paste something.

The same source said that he was disappointed, because he been loyal to the company for years and felt that this mistake was very avoidable:

"It could have been prevented if the management had listened to us."

Asked for comment, RBS supplied The Register with this statement:

We have been clear we will fully investigate the causes of this incident. We hope people will understand that right now our complete focus is on fixing this problem and helping our customers.

The management and execution of batch processing is carried out in Edinburgh as has been the effort to recover and resolve this issue.


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Comments (19) -

United States James
June 29. 2012 14:46

This is in fact happening all over, everywhere. It's just now the UK media is getting fed up with it. The US media is covering it up because they are owned by the same greedy corporations who want cheap labor and open borders. That is why you never hear of the failures in US media - only that massive numbers of jobs are disappearing. Organizations damaged or destroyed by Slumdog, Inc.

Companies ruined or almost ruined by imported Indian labor

Adaptec - Indian CEO Subramanian Sundaresh fired.
AIG (signed outsourcing deal in 2007 in Europe with Accenture Indian frauds, collapsed in 2009)
AirBus (Qantas plane plunged 650 feet injuring passengers when its computer system written by India disengaged the auto-pilot).
Apple - R&D CLOSED in India in 2006.
Apple - Indian national and former Goldman Sachs board member Rajat Gupta charged with leaking Intel and Apple secrets over the phone.
Australia's National Australia Bank (Outsourced jobs to India in 2007, nationwide ATM and account failure in late 2010).
Bell Labs (Arun Netravalli took over, closed, turned into a shopping mall)
Boeing Dreamliner ES software (written by HCL, banned by FAA)
Bristol-Myers-Squibb (Trade Secrets and documents stolen in U.S. by Indian national guest worker)
Caymas - Startup run by Indian CEO, French director of dev, Chinese tech lead. Closed after 5 years of sucking VC out of America.
Caterpillar misses earnings a mere 4 months after outsourcing to India, Inc.
Circuit City - Outsourced all IT to Indian-run IBM and went bankrupt shortly thereafter.
Cisco - destroyed by Indian labor, laid off 55,000 in 2012, going down the drain.
ComAir crew system run by 100% Indian IT workers caused the 12/25/05 U.S. airport shutdown when they used a short int instead of a long int
Computer Associates - Former CEO Sanjay Kumar, an Indian national, sentenced to 12 years in federal prison for accounting fraud.
Deloitte - 2010 - this Indian-packed consulting company is being sued under RICO fraud charges by Marin Country, California for a failed solution.
Dell - call center (closed in India)
Delta call centers (closed in India)
Duke University - Massive scientific fraud by Indian national Dr. Anil Potti discovered in 2012.
Enron, WorldCom, Qwest, and Tyco all hired large numbers of foreign workers from India before their scandals.
Fannie Mae - Hired large numbers of Indians, had to be bailed out. Indian logic bomb creator found guilty and sent to prison.
Goldman Sachs - Kunil Shah, VP & Managing Director - GS had to be bailed out by US taxpayers for $550 BILLION.
GM - Was booming in 2006, signed $300 million outsourcing deal with Wipro that same year, went bankrupt 3 years later
HP - Got out of the PC hardware business in 2011 and can't compete with Apple's tablets. HP was taken over by Indians and Chinese in 2001. So much for 'Asian' talent!
HSBC ATMs (software taken over by Indians, failed in 2006)
IBM bill collecting system for Austin, TX failed in 2012 written by Indians at IBM
Intel Whitefield processor project (cancelled, Indian staff canned)
Intel - Trade secret stolen by Indian national Biswamohan Pani in 2012.
JetStar Airways computer failure brings down Christchurch airport on 9/17/11. JetStar is owned by Quantas - which is know to have outsourced to India, Inc.
JP Morgan - Outsourced subsidiary & IT integration to India in 2009 for $400 million, lost $2 billion in 2012.
Kodak: Outsourced to India in 2006, filed for bankruptcy in Jan, 2012.
Lehman (Jasjit Bhattal ruined the company. Spectramind software bought by Wipro, ruined, trashed by Indian programmers)
Medicare - Defrauded by Indian national doctor Arun Sharma & wife in the U.S.
Microsoft - Employs over 35,000 H-1Bs. Stock used to be $100. Today it's lucky to be over $25. Not to mention that Vista thing.
MIPS - Taken over by Indian national Sandeep Vij in 2010, being sold off in 2012.
MIT Media Lab Asia (canceled)
MyNines - A startup founded and run by Indian national Apar Kothari went belly up after throwing millions of America's VC $ down the drain.
Nomura Securities - (In 2011 "struggling to compete on the world stage"). No wonder because Jasjit Bhattal formerly of failed Lehman ran it. See Lehman above.
PeopleSoft (Taken over by Indians in 2000, collapsed).
PepsiCo - Slides from #1 to #3 during Indian CEO Indra Nooyi' watch.
Polycom - Former senior executive Sunil Bhalla charged with insider trading.
Qantas - See AirBus above
Quark (Alukah Kamar CEO, fired, lost 60% of its customers to Adobe because Indian-written QuarkExpress 6 was a failure)
Reebok - Massive fraud and theft in India second in size only to Satyam fraud
Rolls Royce (Sent aircraft engine work to India in 2006, engines delayed for Boeing 787, and failed on at least 2 Quantas planes in 2010, cost Rolls $500m).
SAP - Same as Deloitte above in 2010.
Singapore airlines (IT functions taken over in 2009 by TCS, website trashed in August, 2011)
Skype (Madhu Yarlagadda fired)
State of Indiana $867 million FAILED IBM project, IBM being sued
State of Texas failed IBM project.
Sun Micro (Taken over by Indian and Chinese workers in 2001, collapsed, had to be sold off to Oracle).
UK's NHS outsourced numerous jobs including health records to India in mid-2000 resulting in $26 billion over budget.
Union Bank of California - Cancelled Finacle project run by India's InfoSys in 2011.
United - call center (closed in India)
US Navy F-18 jet crashes into Virginia apartment building on 4/6/12 after outsourcing F-18 work to India's Tata.
Victorian Order of Nurses, Canada (Payroll system screwed up by SAP/IBM in mid-2011)
Virgin Atlantic (software written in India caused cloud IT failure)
World Bank (Indian fraudsters BANNED for 3 years because they stole data).

I could post the whole list here but I don't want to crash any servers.

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United States Tipster
June 29. 2012 20:35

Coming soon to a bank near us...

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United States Anon10
June 30. 2012 01:35

TR Sir ,Papers are telling the truth,indians are great in getting high marks(Grades) but zero on experience/Skills,thankfully lets hope they are dont get involved in aircraft software,no prizes for guessing what will happen, lol,   .James you sound like cassette tape which repeats itself again and again, what you mentioned here has been told by you several times,please tell something new.

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Kuwait Anonymous
June 30. 2012 13:51


I don't think James's  alleged repetition is fruitless.

Even today Indian media keeps [raising Pepsi's Indra Nooyi as some " great achiever , the most poweful woman " blah blah. I have heard her on Indian tv & read an interview with her in a Tamil weekly long time back. I was zapped how such a shallow vacuous person is praised so much by Americans . Utterly useless swollen headed idiot.Who proudly declared all that she needs to do is arrange for grand rituals in Thirupathi Venkateshvara Temple & thrust tiny Icons of Ganesha in the hands of Americans working under her ( Indians are very fond of telling so & so is working UNDER me ) for her to increase profits.

What more heady cocktail is needed for conceited jingoistic Indians ?

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United States James
July 1. 2012 04:42

"TR Sir ,Papers are telling the truth,indians are great in getting high marks(Grades) but zero on experience/Skills,thankfully lets hope they are dont get involved in aircraft software,no prizes for guessing what will happen, lol,   .James you sound like cassette tape which repeats itself again and again, what you mentioned here has been told by you several times,please tell something new."

Here's something "new" for you:

Indians WERE working on Aircraft software - namely Boeing's 787 ES software. The work was so bad that FAA BANNED the subcontractor (HCL) from ever working on Boeing software projects again.

Is that "new" enough for you?

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United States James
July 1. 2012 04:44

Pepsi has gone from #1 to #3 under Nooryi - another big American company made successful by Americans but now being slowly ground down and driven into the ground by slumdogs. 10 more years Pepsi, MS, etc will all be in the garbage. They already killed PeopleSoft, Sun, Bell Labs, and others.

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United States James
July 1. 2012 14:15

How's this for "new":

More industrial espionage by Israel.


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United States Tipster
July 1. 2012 20:54

@ James

Yes, Nooyi is the same person who likened America is the middle finger of the world...


Summarizes what she feels.

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United States James
July 2. 2012 03:48


"Yes, Nooyi is the same person who likened America is the middle finger of the world..."

But she sure doesn't mind coming here and working does she? Nor does she mind giving American jobs away to lazy Indians.

Where will she go after she's run Pepsi into the ground? Back to India to be CEO of a toilet factory?


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United States Tony
July 3. 2012 04:26

Indians this Indians that. if you guys are that much concerned, then why the heck are you still shipping jobs??  i will tell you why - apart from barking, you guys dont have the skill to do it. By the way - the RBS issue was caused by your people sitting in Edinburg. SAD!!

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United States nevermind
July 3. 2012 11:41

James/ Tunnel Rat -- Fricking Muslims. Please don't terrorize the World

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United States Purple Haze
July 3. 2012 12:39
Purple Haze

Classic example of jumping the gun lol



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Canada ezygoer
July 3. 2012 13:42

Well is the only way to teach RBS a lesson is by these 16.7 million customers suing and filing a class action lawsuit against RBS for having operations offshore ? The banking industry should be regulated to have all jobs done within it's country of origin and so for it's branches i.e if it has a branch in India only that branch's work to be done in India.

But then will politicians have the guts to do this when the buzzword to make insane profits is "Outsourcing" ?

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United States James
July 3. 2012 15:02


"Indians this Indians that. if you guys are that much concerned, then why the heck are you still shipping jobs??"

WE'RE not. Our whore politicians who are taking NASSCOM/USINDPAC and Chinese payoff money are the ones shipping jobs. Learn how Amerika works!

"i will tell you why - apart from barking, you guys dont have the skill to do it. By the way - the RBS issue was caused by your people sitting in Edinburg. SAD!!"

Stop beliving the lies you've been fed in your propaganda schools. If we don't have the skills to do it then how did we build the western world without you? Did Indians build the entire western world in just the past 15 years (before that no one in the west would trade with you).

Stop being delusional. Indians destroyed every western economy and now we've said enough. You people turned a BOOMING US economy into a disaster in just over a decade. And see the list I provided above about all the companies you've destroyed.

Wake up and smell the truth you brainwashed slumdog.

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United States Abraham
July 3. 2012 16:28

I feel bad for this blogger. He needs to get a life other than grunting on slumdogs. He should get some hair implants on his bald ass head and try finding a girl friend or may be boy friend if he is gay. No matter what you idiots think, Indian people are smart. For the record, they are the richest minority in this nation. US is a land of immigrants. You idiots migrated couple generations ago and it is their turn now.

Most of the slumdogs get about 80% of their consulting contract rates. Which is lot more than what you loosers earn.

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United States Heartlander
July 3. 2012 23:11

Indians in denial as usual. Watch as more and more crashes due to shoddy Indian work occur here in the west where the modern IT profession was invented, and was doing great before the money grubbing hoardes of India showed up. Still sticking out the begging bowl as always, huh? You won't be satisfied until we are all in the garbage heap with you, picking for scraps, and you are sitting at the top of the stinking pile.

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United States Tony
July 4. 2012 02:34

Like Abraham said, all of us are immigrants here. The real natives of america are almost extinct. Being an American, i try to respect others. Do not think apart from Americans all others are poor. and

@James - "Did Indians build the entire western world in just the past 15 years (before that no one in the west would trade with you)."  - Remember, Columbus was trying to reach India. Ask any wise guy why he was looking for India. Learn and think.

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United States Tony
July 4. 2012 02:37

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United States James
July 4. 2012 08:02


"I feel bad for this blogger. He needs to get a life other than grunting on slumdogs. He should get some hair implants on his bald ass head and try finding a girl friend or may be boy friend if he is gay."

He has a full head of hair and is married and has a kid. Not like you animal rapers in India.

"No matter what you idiots think, Indian people are smart."

If you are so smart then:

1) Why have you been unable to keep the US economy going as promised?

2) Why does every company you touch die?

3) Why is India still unable to produce its own commercial operating system and put MS out of business?

4) Why isn't there even one household US tech company created ENTIRELY by Indians?

5) Why did Indians place SECOND TO LAST IN THE WORLD IN THE OECD test last month and FOURTEENTH in the 2008 International Math Olympiad (Americans placed second).

Average Indian IQ is 81. Average American IQ is 98. I wrote software in Silicon Valley for 16 years and MY IQ is 160.

Face it, no matter what you say, Indians are not smart. Everywhere you go there is economic collapse: US, UK, Oz, Dubai, everywhere. Collapse, collapse, collapse. You people are idiots. You shove others in their own country aside, take over with delusions you are smarter than they are, even though you're not smart enough to make your own country work, and then when you've taken over what others have created, you destroy it. Smart? Not even close. Why don't you work on building some toilets instead of crapping in the streets in India if you are so smart? You live like locusts - consuming and destroying everything and producing nothing. The US was BOOMING when we ran it (before you got here).

"For the record, they are the richest minority in this nation."

Yes, because they had the most lucrative jobs in the world - IT jobs created by whites - HANDED to them for free. From 1978-1998 IT was 98% white American males. We created it, you didn't. Then the powers that be decided to just HAND an entire lucrative pre-made industry over to you people. Now you run around yelling "richest minorities, blah, blah, blah". Bank robbers are rich too. Don't delude yourselves: you are nothing more than clever thieves who happen to be good at con games and stealing from others. That is all, you're not rich because you're smart. You're rich because USA GAVE you smart white peoples' jobs premade for you without you lifiting a finger to create them.

"US is a land of immigrants. You idiots migrated couple generations ago and it is their turn now."

We "idiots" migrated 500 years ago and spent 500 years BUILDING this country WITHOUT INDIA. Indians didn't start arriving in large numbers until 1998 - 15 years ago. US is not a land of immigrants, it's a land of EUROPEAN immigrants. Or it was up until 15 years ago. And in that past 15 years we have witnessed 3 recession, a depression, and 2 stock market crashes. Do you seriously expect to claim credit for creating America when you've only been here 15 mere years? Asian immigrants are a disaster for America because you are all grabbers instead of creators. If you were so smart India would have surpassed USA long ago - after all, you have 4 times more people. Must be some brains in there somewhere, right? Stop re-writing history. We've been here centuries, not generations. And we built the place. You didn't. You were only supposed to be TEMPORARY GUEST WORKERS, not IMMIGRANTS, remember? That was the deal when your invasion started in 1998.

sEvery immigration wave to the U.S. since 1900 has led to recession or depression. The late 1998-2000 wave was the biggest in U.S. history - bigger than the one from 1906-1920. Historical facts do not lie. Here is the history of immigration and recession to America since 1900:

1906-1920 - Huge wave from Europe - Great Depression in 1929.

1965 - Ted Kennedy's Immigration Reform Act - Big recession 1973-1981

1990 - H-1B started - recession 1991-1993

Oct. 1998 - H-1B caps raised form 65,000 to 115,000 per year - collapse in 2001.

Apri 2000 - H-1B caps raised from 115,000 per year to 195,000 per year - collapse in 2008.

The fake "recovery" in the mid 2000's was no recovery - just cheap Fed credit making up for Americans losing their jobs.

America was built by Americans. Every buildup leads to immigrant takers who come in when times are good, strip the economy, then leave when times are bad - as they are now.

84% of the current U.S. population was born here. Do you seriously expect us to believe that 84% of the natives live off the work of the other 16% immigrants? Come on, stop being either a liar or delusional. Immigration is a disaster for America.

China and India don't have open borders. Did I mention they are booming?

Free Trade caused WW2 - America in the 1920s sold its scrap steel to Japan and England's Rolls Royce sold aircraft engines and factories to Hitler. We all know how that turned out.

"Most of the slumdogs get about 80% of their consulting contract rates. Which is lot more than what you loosers earn."

I make $100/hr writing software. I've written 30 successful commercial products. I wrote software at Apple and Sony (PlayStation), you didn't.

What have you created for the world? Anything, Mr. Genius? LOL. Faking fraud.

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