Victims of NatWest and RBS’s computer glitch whose credit and debit cards were rejected woke today to find money had been emptied from their accounts.
For three hours on Monday – the year’s busiest internet shopping day – about 750,000 account holders could not take out cash or use cards in shops or online.
As the bank system tried to cope, shocked customers’ accounts were plunged into the red on Tuesday.
It is the second time customers of the banks have been inconvenienced in this way: in 2012 customers were locked out of their accounts for several days.
One NatWest customer with about £200 in her account on Monday was shown as £65 overdrawn on Tuesday.
A customer at a Kent supermarket said NatWest cards had been declined en masse on Monday evening.
Freight imports co-ordinator Rachael Horrocks, of Colnbrook, Berks, called RBS “absolutely useless” after phoning them for an hour to be told they didn’t know when normal service would resume.
Jill Gale, 34, of County Durham, was hit by last year’s crash and plans to switch banks after her cards were refused on Monday.
She said: “It was humiliating, even though the people behind me were in the same position. Two of them didn’t have any other way of paying.”
A pilot and his crew could not withdraw cash for dinner when they arrived in the Falklands for a two-month tour of duty.
The pilot’s mother Sarah Prosser said: “Not only are the poor lads away from home for Christmas, but they can’t buy anything either.”
RBS, which owns NatWest, apologised and said the issues have been resolved. It also promised to compensate any customer left out of pocket.
But the fiasco sparked calls for a planned £500million staff bonus at RBS, which is 82% taxpayer-owned, to be slashed.
The bank, facing billions of pounds of losses, has shed 30,000 jobs in five years.
Labour MP John Mann said: “A whole lot of customers have suffered distress and inconvenience. If you can’t run your basic banking system you should not be paid these huge bonuses.”
New boss RBS Ross McEwan blamed decades of under-investment in IT before he arrived – which he has pledged to rectify.
He said: “Far too many of our customers were let down, unable to make purchases and withdraw cash.
“I’m sorry for the inconvenience we caused our customers. We know we have to do better.”
Source : Mirror