Webdesign and the Failed Irish Banks…I’ve sold software and training to a number of banks including the Irish Central Bank throughout my career. Before I would make that initial call, I would do two things, I would check the company CRM just in case one of my colleagues had that account, or maybe a colleague had entered some useful information that I could leverage in conversation. The second check I would undertake before I make that cold call is to undertake some initial company research. This would initially start at the company website. So, what webdesign standards did the banks have back in 2007…I wonder!!
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Every dog on the street knew the Irish banks were lending to reckless extremes and unfortunately growing in negative influence which would have a devastating impact on Irish society (a blog post for another day, maybe), but what about their websites? What was their front-end ‘webdesign’ like?
Well, put simply…a marketing embarrassment. I suppose they didn’t need to do much marketing. We’ve all heard the excuses, ‘light touch regulation’, ‘riding the market demand’, ‘we didn’t see it coming’, ‘Lehman’s’, blab, blab, blab.
I’m not going to go off in a rant, but I thought it would be interesting to take a step back in time and analyse how absolutely terrible the websites and homepage webdesign of these banks were. First up Irish Nationwide…
Website url: www.Irish-Nationwide.com
I know what you’re thinking, why didn’t Fingers Fingleton buy www.IrishNationwide.com? It appears www.IrishNationwide.com (without the hyphen) was available to buy, maybe the price was too high or the they couldn’t get approval from the IMF, their auditors (KPMG), the Central Bank or the European Commission!!!!
I know you can’t wait, so here is a screen grab of the Irish Nationwide website in March 2007:
‘The Real Deal!’, you couldn’t make it up!! When I saw it first, I thought ‘homeloans’ read, ‘homeless’, how ironic! ‘The Society is very active in the ….’, very should be replaced by ‘The Society is hyper active’!
Anyway, the webdesign and layout is truly awful. That’s all I’ll say.
Website Marks out of 5: 0
Next Up – Seanie Fitz!! and Anglo Irish Bank or was it Sean Quinn who owned Anglo?!?! Here goes:
Yes, the stock image corporate couple were pointing into the abyss!! Note the Share Price graph to the centre right??? Complete crash within two months.
Website Marks out of 5: 0.5
An improvement on Anglo and Nationwide (perhaps due to the ‘consumer’ focus of Irish Life & Permanent), but not much! Did you notice the share price? 6.26 by September 2008 – from a high of, 22.80 pre-crash! By December 2008, it was down to 1.53 and still on the homepage!! Ironic transparency!!
Website Marks out of 5: 1.5
Yet another lazy website, who needs marketing when the tills are flowing? Always invest in the future especially considering your homepage webdesign has become the digital face and first impression for your company. Bailed out by the state for 5.2Billion (Ireland’s “least-worst bank”, Brian Goggin, CEO, sounds like an achievement, a form of congratulations, well, at least we were the ‘least-worst bank’, standards, not bad for a ‘less than €2 million’ per annum wage, or almost 3 million for the end of March 2008). It pays to fail!!
Website Marks out of 5: 0
Probably the best of the Irish Bank websites as far as webdesign is concerned, the images on the homepage are very click art’ish, on a positive, the navigation is very clear.
Website Marks out of 5: 1.75
The great British banking invasion!! Owned by the Lloyds Banking Group and in 2010 it packed up and wound up its Irish operations with losses of 1.88 billion euro in the first six months of that year. As far as homepage webdesign is concerned, not bad and the best so far, but still 2.5 out of five!
Anybody notice the disclaimer on the footer…..Bank of Scotland (Ireland) is regulated by the Financial Regulator…..what a laugh!! The absentee regulator….well done Patrick Neary, who said in the Oireachtas, “The system failed and I regret that”. In Patrick’s defence he only became CEO in 2006, his predecessors surely must take some of the blame. Then again, a gratuity of €650,000 and a pension of €114,000 a year should cushion the personal trauma!
Website Marks out of 5: 2.5
I included the Auditors of these basket case banks (I can’t refer the ‘banks’ as Companies, as they should have been struck off under normal free market rules, but the German’s and the EU wouldn’t dare burn the rich bondholders, no, different rules apply for the protected rich). Post the crash from 2008 to 2014, the ‘consultancy services’ paid by the Irish state equated to €152 million, 60% of this 152 million was dished out to four firms: Arthur Cox (€33 million), Blackrock Financial Management (€23.5 million), Ernst and Young (€21 million) and KPMG (€13 million). Yes, some of the bank auditors not only assisted the banks bringing the IMF to Ireland, apparently they helped the Irish State solve the problem…win win, brilliant.
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