Economy

Westpac online banking still in recovery, Economic statement set to reveal budget black hole: Midday Roundup

Patrick Stafford /

Westpac has managed to recover from an eight-hour blackout of its online banking system, but the system is still coming back online – and businesses are complaining.

While the blackout began yesterday morning, the mobile and net banking systems slowly came back online during the day. However, today it appears more services are still offline.

A spokesperson said today customers can access phone banking services, but that some services are still offline.

The bank’s social media account is working overtime, telling customers that internet banking services are still coming back to full capacity. 

The account said this morning there is currently no estimated time to have the system fully back online.

Small businesses have complained they are unable to pay bills or even staff due to the outage.

One Twitter user, Sam Gill, tweeted that she has “no online banking and no mobile banking…and a lot of staff waiting to get paid”.

Another user, Dan Connolly, said he is “not sure how to explain staff I can’t pay wages”.

The massive blackout echoes NAB’s massive outage during 2010, during which online banking services were offline for several hours, delaying all sorts of payments including Centrelink benefits. Many businesses compalined they were unable to pay staff. 

Economic Statement set to reveal $30 billion black hole in budget

The government’s upcoming economic statement is expected to reveal a $30 billion budget black hole this afternoon.

While the government has already revealed a new banking levy and a higher excise tax on tobacco is on the cards, Treasurer Chris Bowen is also expected to reveal a $30 billion budget black hole.

The Economic Statement’s release this afternoon is also expected to usher in an election date announcement this weekend.

Opposition Leader Tony Abbott told the AAP he will wait to see the statement before making a response.

“We are not going to respond piecemeal to rumoured or individual items that may or may not be in it,” he said.

“All of these, whether it is a bank deposit tax, whether it is an increase in cigarette tax, it’s all a hit on you, the people.”

Another financial crisis incoming, NBA chief claims

National Australia Bank chief executive Cameron Clyne has said the country should expect another global financial crisis at some point.

“There will be another GFC,” he told the Australia Israel Chamber of Commerce in Sydney, according to Business Spectator.

“I don’t know when, but there will be.”

Clyne also commented the Australian market needs to establish a “Greater degree of resilience” in order to prepare for the inevitable hardships.

Shares open higher on offshore leads

The Australian sharemarket has opened higher this morning, following solid leads from offshore markets. Key announcements made by the European Central Bank to keep interest rates low also bolstered investor confidence.

The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was up 43 points or 0.9% to 5104.9 at 11.50 AEST, while in the United States the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 128 points or 0.8% to 15,628.

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Patrick Stafford

Patrick Stafford is a freelance journalist and a former deputy editor of SmartCompany.

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