NatWest And RBS Fail Kills Banking Services

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NatWest and RBS customers are furious they cannot make payments because of a system error

NatWest and RBS customers have been hit by a systems glitch that means many cannot make or receive payments, whilst a number of online services are down.

Customer account balances have not been updated, leaving many concerned over when they will receive funds they are due. NatWest and RBS are part of the same group and share IT infrastructure in various ways.

“We are currently experiencing technical issues which mean that a number of customer account balances have not yet been updated and some of our online services are temporarily unavailable,” an RBS spokesperson said. “We are working hard to fix this and hope to have the problem resolved as soon as possible. We apologise for the inconvenience caused to our customers.”

The spokesperson was unable to confirm the source of the glitch.

Customer fears

Customers have flocked to Twitter to vent their fear and frustration over the technical fail. One told TechWeekEurope they were concerned about not being able to buy food.

“I rely on my money being there today as I was going to buy food! All we have is bread & cheese in this flat,” complained Heather Cranmer. “Plus, bills start coming out tomorrow. Is NatWest going to give me some food to tide me over? Are they going to pay the late fees on my bills as it’s their fault?”

“I’ve spoken to the bank & all they keep telling me is that they should have it back up and running this afternoon. It is ‘this afternoon’ and still can’t use my account.” At the time of publication, Cranmer said NatWest had told her services would be up and running “in the next few hours”.

Some customers are concerned that the bank has been hacked, but there has been no confirmation on this. Meanwhile, others have been left wondering what happened to the bank’s disaster recovery plans.



Some reports have suggested that 7.5 million customers have been affected by the glitch. The RBS spokesperson said they did not provide this  figure, and did not know where the 7.5 million claim came from.

The IT failure comes at a tough time for RBS, which announced in May it was laying off another 2,600 workers.

UPDATED: RBS has sent out an updated statement, saying it is to keep over 1,000 NatWest branches in all major towns and cities open until 7pm this evening to assist customers who were unable to use the bank’s services today.

“This is a technical problem affecting a large number of NatWest and Ulster Bank customers, and a small number of RBS customers, including some of our business customers,” a spokesperson said.

“It was caused by a failure of our systems to properly update customers’ balances overnight. The main problem customers are having is that where people have had money go into their accounts overnight, there may be a delay in it showing up on their balance. This is an unacceptable inconvenience for our customers, for which we apologise.

“We can assure our customers that this problem is strictly of a technical nature and will be fixed as soon as possible. We can also confirm that no customers will be permanently out of pocket as a result of this.”

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