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Q&A: your rights following the Natwest and RBS banking disaster
Millions of RBS Group customers have been left unable to withdraw cash or make payments. If you've been affected here's what you should do...
by Victoria Bischoff on Jun 25, 2012 at 14:27Follow @VBischoff
Millions of NatWest, RBS and Ulster Bank customers are still experiencing problems receiving cash and making payments following a weekend of complete banking chaos.
Here we explain what exactly is going on and what to do if you think you've been affected.
The RBS group said the technical fault – which was a result of a software upgrade gone wrong according to RBS boss Stephen Hester – meant that many customers’ balances were not properly updated, so money paid into accounts on Wednesday night did not show up on Thursday and likewise payments due to be made did not go through.
Unite union has raised concerns that the problem is a result of staffing challenges following some 30,000 job losses at the 82% taxpayer-owned bank and extensive outsourcing of functions. Hester, however, has rejected this claim and pledged that the incident will be taken into account when deciding management bonuses next year.
Is the problem fixed now?
Susan Allen, director of customer services for the RBS group, said yesterday she was ‘cautiously optimistic that RBS and Natwest customer account balances will be largely back to normal’ today.
However, while the bank claims the underlying problem has now been fixed, the group is still dealing with a huge backlog of payments which will take time to process – or as Allen put it: ‘The knock on effects of this technical failure mean there will be bumps in the road.’
This means that for many customers bill payments made between Wednesday 20 June and Monday 25 June will not yet have been processed, direct debits will not have gone through and cash, cheques and wages received via an electronic payment may not yet be in your account, Ulster Bank warned.
Customers should be able to access their online services as normal, but may not be able to view an up to date balance. The RBS group has also stopped all SMS and email alerts due to be issued over the next few days until the problems have been resolved.
Who has been affected?
In short, the RBS group does not know the exact number of people affected by the computer failure.
RBS and Natwest have some 15 million account holders – of which 7.5 million are personal banking customers. Ulster Bank, meanwhile, has roughly another 2 million.
However, a spokesperson for RBS stressed that not everyone has been affected as some people did not make payments during this period or were fortunate enough to have a surplus of cash in their account to not notice the issue.
More about this:
More from us
What others are saying
- RBS comment
- Natwest website
- RBS website
- Ulster Bank website
- Financial Ombudsman Service
- Financial Services Authority
- RBS boss blames software upgrade for account problems
- Financial Ombudsman Service complaints form
- RBS branch locator
- RBS boss says outsourcing not to blame for computer glitch
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