An IT problem to cause banking mayhem, hitting up to 16 million NatWest and RBS customers as the firm’s boss apologises.
For the first time, NatWest and RBS have decided to keep 1,200 main town and city branches open for extended hours all this week after a huge computer meltdown.
The banks tweeted: “We’re making progress in putting things right and will keep 1,200 branches open. From 8-6pm for the rest of the week.”
The failure rolled into a seventh day after parent company RBS said it was still experiencing technical issues and confirmed some online services were unavailable.
The problem that rolled into a fisco, which is also affecting RBS and Ulster Bank, has left many unhappy customers unable to access internet banking.
The three banks have a combined total of 16.9 million account holders, and risk a PR disaster if the issue is not dealt with effectively.
During the past week, people have seen payments to go missing, holiday and home purchases interrupted and wages appearing to go missing.
It is not yet clear .How many customers are affected after the problem made headlines last Thursday..Susan Allen, of RBS Group, insisted that progress was being made and suggested customers would see their accounts largely “back to normal” at the start of the working week.
“The knock-on effects of this technical failure mean there will be bumps in the road,” she said.
“We will do everything we can to minimise further disruption to our customers.”
Customers have complained about being without access to their money for the extensive lenght of time. This causes a delay in paying bills and people could be hit with penalty charges if their regular payments – including mortgages – were affected.
Karen Eden told Sky News: “It is a worry because you don’t know if bills are being paid or not, I’m hoping that they have been but until I get my statement it’s going to be difficult to find out.”
Customer Abuka Valentine-Iroha added: “I was here on Friday and it was not working, I came back on Saturday and it was the same thing, then to my great surprise it’s working now.”
RBS have also issued a public apology over the matter and told Sky’s City editor Mark Kleinman: “The first thing I must say, and repeat what I said over the weekend – we are very sorry for the inconvenience this has caused our customers.
“Our customers come first for us. We’re doing everything we can to put that right.”
He added: “I hope as quickly as possible we can put this behind us and learn the lessons and move forward.
“We need to make sure there are no consequences for people’s credit ratings.”