NatWest customers still facing problems

| June 25, 2012
NatWest customers still facing problems

Last week’s computer error is expected to continue causing problems for customers of Royal Bank of Scotland, NatWest and Ulster Bank until Tuesday, the bank said yesterday.

The problems started after a software update was carried out on Tuesday.

The update stopped transactions going in and out of customers’ accounts during the night, leaving customers unable to access their money.

Although the underlying technical issue has been resolved, the bank has a backlog of transactions it is still trying to clear.

The opening hours of many branches were extended over the weekend, with 1,200 branches opening yesterday, representing the first time ever that the bank has opened on a Sunday.

Despite the longer opening hours, the bank said yesterday that it was still only three quarters of the way through clearing the backlog.

It also admitted that it doesn’t know exactly how many accounts have been affected by the glitch.

RBS has promised that customers will be reimbursed for any losses they have suffered as a result of the problem and the Financial Services Authority has asked other banks to deal leniently with customers who miss payments because transfers from RBS accounts have been delayed.

Delayed payment are causing customers a wide range of problems, and the bank has promised to refund any overdraft charges or penalty fees incurred because of the glitch.

In a statement on the bank’s website, the bank’s chief executive, Stephen Hester, apologises to customers affected by the technical issues.

The statement says: “We have doubled the usual number of staff in our call centres, and for the first time ever we will open 1,200 branches across the country on a Sunday from 9am to 12pm.

“We are also extending opening hours in over 1,000 branches on Monday 25th June from 8am to 7pm.”

The Financial Ombudsman Service could award compensation to customers who have experienced stress as a result of the glitch, if the bank fails to respond fairly to their complaint.

Some customers have had property deals and holidays delayed or cancelled because they are unable to make their payments on time.

To add to its troubles, Royal Bank of Scotland was one of 15 global banks to have its credit rating downgraded last week.

Ratings agency Moody’s downgraded RBS and Lloyds following a review which started in February.

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