Nationwide: disastrous announcement!


J

Jerry

Martin

Please let them know why you are leaving. I'm sure they will do OFX
downloads if enough people complain. After all, we are supposed to own
the Nationwide aren't we?
 
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M

Mark

Please let them know why you are leaving. I'm sure they will do OFX
downloads if enough people complain. After all, we are supposed to own
the Nationwide aren't we?
Here is the second response I got asking about OFX downloads (and I
also complained about the short notice given for this change.

"Unfortunately I will be unable to give you specific information in
regards to converting .CSV files to .OFX. I can only advise that tools
are available which converts .CSV files to .OFX files, which you can
them import into Microsoft Money.
At present we have no plans to introduce the downloading of statements
in any other format apart from .CSV. I am sorry that you feel you need
to move your accounts because of this decision.
....
For these reasons, regrettably, we will be withdrawing the support
service on our Internet Bank for Microsoft Money on 22 October 2009.
We felt that a months notice is adequate for each member to make their
decisions / change the way in which information is obtained from the
Internet bank."

I will be looking for another bank with immediate effect. I have also
contacted Which? magazine and some newspapers as they may be
interested in this story.
 
M

Mark

Just as I expected. Not only are they stopping direct downloads but they
don't even have the facility to download an OFX file. They say customers
can download a CSV file and convert it somehow but they don't care how!
The "CSV" file isn't even a proper CSV file. The first few rows
contain a different number of columns from the rest (I know there is
no real standard "csv" file format, but the convention is to have the
same number of columns in each row).

The file can be loaded by a spreadsheet program but it pretty much
useless for anything else.

I have tried different 4 programs to try and convert it and none of
them work at all with the Nationwide's CSV files.
 
M

Mark Rae [MVP]

The "CSV" file isn't even a proper CSV file. The first few rows
contain a different number of columns from the rest (I know there is
no real standard "csv" file format, but the convention is to have the
same number of columns in each row).

The file can be loaded by a spreadsheet program but it pretty much
useless for anything else.

I have tried different 4 programs to try and convert it and none of
them work at all with the Nationwide's CSV files.
If you would you be willing to send me one of these Nationwide CSV files, I
will create a small applet which will convert them into a more suitable
format...
 
M

martin_pentreath

Martin

Please let them know why you are leaving. I'm sure they will do OFX
downloads if enough people complain. After all, we are supposed to own
the Nationwide aren't we?
Hi Jerry, I will do so, although I think, being realistic about it,
Nationwide will have already considered the number of likely account
closures and decided that their decision makes commercial sense, and
they're probably right. I doubt whether Which or any of the press
would be that bothered - the story will sound like a handful of IT
nerds bickering over the arcane details of something which no one else
understands!

After a bit more research I'm off to Natwest who have good IT support,
and offer linked e-savings accounts. I've moved banks several times in
my life (in fact I already have a dormant Natwest account from years
gone by which I can resurrect) and it's not that big a problem. I'd
rather get the ball rolling now instead of waiting in case Nationwide
implements OFX (which I don't think is likely to happen). As I said, I
actually quite like Nationwide, but all good things muct come to an
end.

Cheers!

Martin
 
M

Mark

If you would you be willing to send me one of these Nationwide CSV files, I
will create a small applet which will convert them into a more suitable
format...
That would be very kind of you. I don't want to send a "real" file,
but would an edited version suffice (i.e. with account numbers
replaced)?
 
M

Mark Rae [MVP]

That would be very kind of you.
Nope, just spotting a potential business opportunity - you'll get full
credit... ;-)

I don't want to send a "real" file,
I appreciate that, though I am registered with the ICO under the Data
Protection Act and would happily sign any sort of condientiality /
non-disclosure document...

but would an edited version suffice (i.e. with account numbers replaced)?
I suppose it would...

Obviously, I'm not a Nationwide customer otherwise I'd do this myself (!),
so all I would ask is that the more detailed and complex the .csv file is
the more like it will be that it contains every possible permutation of
data...
 
M

Mark

Nope, just spotting a potential business opportunity - you'll get full
credit... ;-)
;-)


I appreciate that, though I am registered with the ICO under the Data
Protection Act and would happily sign any sort of condientiality /
non-disclosure document...


I suppose it would...

Obviously, I'm not a Nationwide customer otherwise I'd do this myself (!),
so all I would ask is that the more detailed and complex the .csv file is
the more like it will be that it contains every possible permutation of
data...
I only have examples of these files and no specification for their
format. However, it's not very complex at all and may not even
contain enough information for conversion to OFX/QIF (I don't have a
detailed knowledge of the OFX/QIF format).

The example has all the permutations I have seen in real files.
However, the format of the file does depend on which "view" of your
bank account is currently selected when it is downloaded.

I'll email it anyway.

Mark.
 
M

Mark Rae [MVP]

I only have examples of these files and no specification for their
format. However, it's not very complex at all and may not even
contain enough information for conversion to OFX/QIF (I don't have a
detailed knowledge of the OFX/QIF format).
Don't worry about the destination format - OFX is public domain. It's,
essentially, XML anyway...

The example has all the permutations I have seen in real files.
That should be good enough, then...

However, the format of the file does depend on which "view" of your
bank account is currently selected when it is downloaded.
That shouldn't present too much of a problem...
 
S

sugna

Hi
Well gutted about all this, will it affect share price downloads? Didnt
think they came from Nationwide
 
M

Mark Rae [MVP]

Share price downloads, AFAIK, come via a central server administered by
Microsoft. Why the raw data comes from I have no idea, though it's probably
one of the standard business data feeds e.g. Reuters, Bloomberg, DataStream
etc...

This will end if / when Microsoft switch it off...
 
C

Cal Learner

In said:
If you would you be willing to send me one of these Nationwide CSV files, I
will create a small applet which will convert them into a more suitable
format...
http://www.mt2ofx.tk/ may be a useful application for this. The
applet may be able to organize the data for it, or it might just
take generating the proper control sequence.

Here is a suggestion: if you do create an OFX file yourself, the
financial institution transaction ID is the key.

Money remembers the <FITID> and will ignore an <FITID> that it has
seen before. That is good if it avoids duplicates. It is bad if it
is not the same transaction.

If you create a <FITID>, I would hash the date, amount, and maybe
payee. Ideally, if there happens to be an identical transaction on
the same conversion, there would be a different <FITID>. That might
happen if you bought a beverage with a credit card from the same
seller twice in a day. But most important is to have the same
<FITID> if the same data is processed again in a later conversion.
That avoids duplicates.

Now if the Nationwide the CSV file has a suitable unique identifier,
that would simplify the chore.

If you create QIF, it is much simpler. QIF downloaded as a statement
checks for duplicates. Unfortunately, it will ignore a second
identical transaction in even the same QIF file. Since that happens
fairly infrequently, it may not be much of a problem.
 
C

Cal Learner

In said:
Don't worry about the destination format - OFX is public domain. It's,
essentially, XML anyway...
OFX 2.x is XML. OFX 1.x is SGML. I think Money 2002 was the first to
accept OFX 2.x.
 
M

Mark Rae [MVP]

OFX 2.x is XML. OFX 1.x is SGML. I think Money 2002 was the first to
accept OFX 2.x.
Indeed. I'm hoping I won't have to support OFX 1.x, at least, not
initially...
 
J

Jerry

Thanks Martin

Yes, I suppose it is a bit nerdy to try to keep in control of bank
accounts. They would probably prefer us to go into the red occasionally
so they can charge us more!

I to have a Natwest account for a cash ISA but their current and savings
rates are very low.
 
J

Jerry

Cal said:
http://www.mt2ofx.tk/ may be a useful application for this. The
applet may be able to organize the data for it, or it might just
take generating the proper control sequence.
Cal

Thanks for this - it seems to convert my Nationwide CSV into OFX that
Money can read.
 
M

Mark

The "CSV" file isn't even a proper CSV file. The first few rows
contain a different number of columns from the rest (I know there is
no real standard "csv" file format, but the convention is to have the
same number of columns in each row).

The file can be loaded by a spreadsheet program but it pretty much
useless for anything else.

I have tried different 4 programs to try and convert it and none of
them work at all with the Nationwide's CSV files.
Follow-up:

After contacting the Author of MT2OFX (3.5.28) I have found that this
will convert the csv files into ofx files and money will import them.

The Nationwide "script" was disabled by default. To enable it do the
following:

click the 'Options' button and then the 'Scripts' button. Find the
"Nationwide-CSV.vbs" in the list and ensure it is checked. Then move
it to the top of the list and click OK.

I'm still moving my account from Nationwide though.
 
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C

Cal Learner

In said:
Indeed. I'm hoping I won't have to support OFX 1.x, at least, not
initially...
It is also possible to feed quotes into Money inside OFX files.
 

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