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Posted June 25, 2012 by Peter in News
 
 

NatWest technical problems continue to hamper millions of customers on 7th day of issues

Having first started back on  Tuesday 19th June 2012, the systems for Natwest and RBS bank are still in chaos after 7 days. Not sure how many heads will roll for this screw up!

This is a serious system breakdown and a highly public embarresement for the Bank, and one that may well trigger a mass exodus of people switching to other banks. One of the biggest short term problems is for those that have been charged fees for failed payments to third parties – for mortgages, credit card bills etc. Natwest do assure on their website that all fees will be refunded:

Will I be charged?
We will ensure that no customers will be out of pocket as a result of these issues. We can confirm that any fees and charges incurred by customers will be fully refunded. This includes charges levied by a third party; for example, if you were late paying a non-NatWest credit card or mortgage because your account wrongly showed there wasn’t sufficient cash.

However as this debacle has affected over 150,000 customers, the admin work involved in processing these will be huge, and as a customer it will be up to you to request the refund – I wouldn’t rely on any refunds happening automatically!

Over one thousand branches have temporary extended opening hours to cope with demand, from 8am – 7pm – today 25th June 2012. This may well continue into the week to cope with the backlog once Natwest banking issues are fully resolved, and follows a Sunday bank opening yesterday, an unprecedented move for one of the major high street banks and a first for Natwest.

Here are a couple of useful links for Natwest customers:

http://www.natwest.com/personal/customer-update.ashx

http://www.natwest.com/global/incident-notice.ashx

And for those wanting to speak to somebody:

If you have an urgent enquiry, please call us on: 0161 931 9959 or 08457 77 77 66 or 0800 656 9639. Overseas +44 (0) 8705 888 444

To add insult to injury, many non Natwest cusomters have been affected, as failed payments to thrid parties including small businesses have resulted in inadequetae fnds for the third parties bills, which results in yet more charges.

For example: Natwest customer has a £1000 invoice due to a client, themselves
a small business banking with HSBC. Payment fails to turn up, which means
clients credit card bill is not paid in full as per normal, so a late fee
is applied.

Natwest – will you be refunding those late payment fees too?

Here at OBR we are shocked at the length of time these issues have persisted – this is a record for a Banking IT glitch in the UK banking world. You would think their IT Support would be much quicker to resolve high level issues such as this. Something fundamental within their internal processes has severely broken down for this to have happened. There has been talk of the money saving exercise of cutting UK staff and moving a large proportion of the IT to India may be indirectly related, as the people now responsble for the systems are far less experienced with them compared to the previous UK staff.

As well as addressing the root cause and putting improved process in place to avoid a repeat, Natwest must consider how to make things up with their hundreds of thousands of affected customers. Honouring refunds and reversing charges is expected, but this will not help heal the wounds from the battering their reputation has taken on its own.

The level of bad press Natwest have received this is phenomenal – these are just a few of the thousands of reports:

Natwest Technical issues June 2012

We do hope you as an affected customer haven’t been impacted too badly, and we also hope things get back to normal as soon as possible.


Peter