RBS meltdown - Edinburgh, not Mumbai

All is revealed: in his letter to the Treasury Select Committee, Stephen Hester admits that the batch payments screw-up happened in the Edinburgh office:

The initial reviews we have carried out indicate that the problem was created when maintenance on systems, which are managed and operated by our team in Edinburgh, caused an error in our batch scheduler. This error caused the automated batch processing to fail on the night of Tuesday 19 June.
India is in the clear. All the frantic briefing by the RBS UK IT managers has been in vain - the finger points squarely at Edinburgh.

Credit to Hester, he's declining his bonus this year before anyone raises the issue. You can bet he's not pleased though. I'd be pretty annoyed if some clowns in the IT department had just cost me £2.4 million. I'd bet he's going to send a troubleshooter to that office, equipped with a sharp axe and a very high quota for necks. In a sense, this is possibly the best outcome for RBS because at least Hester is motivated to find out whose actual fault this was:

I will ensure a full and detailed investigation into the causes of the problem, overseen by independent experts and reporting to the Board Risk Committee and then the improvements we will make subsequently.
We will publish relevant findings from this investigation in due course.
If I were a mid-level or senior manager in IT at RBS Edinburgh, I'd be doing some CV polishing right about now. The published findings should make very interesting reading and be a near-required citation for papers in risk engineering and business-critical systems conferences.

I'm not sure about the Mail's characterisation of this letter as "grovelling". It seems pretty solid and workman-like to me, high on content and low on spin. In fact, I'd say it confirms Hester as a pretty good head of RBS and the Government should look at slipping him some additional compensation in a year or two once the fuss has died down. Heaven knows I don't envy him his job.

Update: Dominic Connor at The Reg has top tips for surviving the oncoming storm, aimed at RBS IT grunts. Helpfully, though, he addresses management as well:

If you're a senior exec at RBS
You're only reading this because someone printed it out for you and other media are quoting us. That's because your IT staff trust random tech journalists that they’ve never met with the truth more than they trust you.
Genius. Read The Whole Thing.

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