Social media star killed the banking experiment

I wanted to put this post up quickly to record the progress / collapse of this finance industry social media project from NAB and to continue my commentary on this important SMM watershed. Charis Palmer at The Better Banking Blog has tried to explain the challenges of the NAB UBank MyFutureBank experiment from a bankers’ perspective. The commentary and discussion from social media experts Gavin Heaton and Stephen Collins that follows the post are interesting reading. Here is the first paragraph, click for the rest of the post.

Why bankers are wary of social media – By Charis Palmer, The Better Banking Blog

Here’s a scenario for you. You’re a consultant, blogger and social media “guru” (there seems to be more and more of them popping up these days). Your business involves advising banks and the otherwise less informed on how to cut it in the big bad world of the Interweb. You have plenty of good arguments to convince your corporate clients why they should be embracing all things Web 2.0, so you’re a little bit irked that they don’t immediately ‘get it’. Still, they pay well, so you persist. After all, for as long as they don’t get it, you have a business.

Click here to read Why bankers are wary of social media

(Update: Here are two posts on this topic by Crikey Blogger Trevor Cook. One with his opinion about the fallout and another with several other post-mortems.)


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NAB UBank social media saga continues

As the “media shitstorm” – as Cheryl Gledhill calls it – continues, her company has decided to take down the original blog post that kicked off much of the controversy about the NAB UBank social media experiment, www.myfuturebank.org (Update: MyFutureBank has been closed, according to reports from The Better Banking Blog – see my next post. Thanks to the Servant of Chaos for the tip-off). The following article by Kathryn Small from iTnews summarises the issues:

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NAB accused of dishonesty by social media commentators

NAB’s latest social media experiment has been slammed by commentators and customers as ‘dishonest and not-very clever’ behaviour.

The bank is accused of using anonymous accounts to criticise readers of its new website, UBank, and to post comments on a commentator’s blog.

UBank launched last week with a website for customers to provide feedback about banking in Australia.

The website reads in part: “We need your help. Please share with us and our visitors what frustrates you about your bank, and more importantly, what you would do differently to improve your banking experience.

“Regardless of the issue: rates, fees & charges, customer service, transparency & integrity or touch points (e.g. ATMs, branches, phone or internet banking), we want to hear from you!”

Users initially made comments like ‘plenty of ATM’s, and good customer service would be good’ and ‘I hate it that banks don’t pass on the full interest rate cuts’.

UBank’s head of online services, Monty Hamilton, wrote in reply: “It’s great to see some positive contributions – of course we can all post negative content, and that would be funny for a bit, but let’s keep it positive.”

One reader responded: “The instructions to the left say ‘Please share with us and our visitors what frustrates you about your bank’ – so I don’t know why you are suddenly turning around and saying ‘let’s keep it positive.'”

This was met by an anonymous commentator, who accused the reader of being “an agitated [sic] employee from a competitor bank”.

Social media commentator Cheryl Gledhill said in a blog post that the anonymous comment, and some others, appeared to be written by an incognito UBank staff member.

– Read the rest of this article at

NAB accused of dishonesty by social media commentators – Business – iTnews Australia


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