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Internet banking problems greater in the Netherlands16 January 2014, by Alexandra Gowling
Research for 2013 has shown that Dutch banks have more days of serious service disruption than banks in neighbouring countries.
This is according to Allestoringen ("all faults"), a service that continuously monitors failures in the websites of banks, government departments, transport organisations, retail companies and other services in 25 different countries.
Their research showed that Rabobank was the worst offender when it came to what they called greater faults, having one every five to six days over 2013.
ING was next, with 61 days of serious fault last year, while ABN AMRO had 52 days. SNS, on the other hand, managed significantly better, with only 10 days for the whole of 2013.
Dutch banks compared internationally
Comparing only banks and not other internet services, it seems that internet banking in the Netherlands is significantly worse than elsewhere.
"In other countries, it hardly seems to be a problem," said Tom Sanders, one of the founders of Allestoringen.
He said that after the Netherlands in terms of problems was the UK, in particular NatWest, and then Germany.
Researching internet service faults
Sanders said Allestoringen had made several analyses to compare the services provided by banks, while also looking at the number of complaints for each bank, adjusted by the bank’s amount of customers.
"All analyses gave the same count for fault days: the IT systems of Rabobank had the most problems," he said.
Distributed denial of service attacks on Dutch banks
Many of these failures were apparently caused by maintenance issues, human error or problems with computer hardware. About 30 per cent, however, were due to the wave of distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks that were carried out last year, especially in April.
The DDoS attacks were the cause of 59 days with serious faults in 2013; yet with a total of 189 days of faults overall, the banks clearly have a problem regardless of malicious attacks.
Worst-affected bank Rabobank said in a statement that they find it "annoying" that sometimes their customers do not get full service, but then said that on average, their internet banking was available 99 per cent of the time in 2013.
"We will continue our efforts in 2014 to make internet banking as smooth as possible," they finished.