NatWest, RBS banking problems could continue for weeks

26 June 2012

Customers of Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) or one of its subsidiaries, NatWest and Ulster Bank, could continue to face problems related to its IT glitch for weeks to come, the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) has warned.

David Cresswell, spokesperson for the FOS, told the BBC the knock-on effects would take longer to identify and rectify.

The bank is still working through a backlog of failed payments, declined direct debits and incorrect balances.

Have you been affected?

If you have been affected, the most important thing to do is to establish exactly how much damage might have been caused. Were you penalised for missing a payment? Were you charged for going overdrawn? Or do you think your credit rating might have been damaged?

Once you've got this clear, you need to get in touch with the banking group as soon as possible. You can contact it on 0161 931 9959, 08457 77 77 66, or 0800 656 9639. Overseas customers should call +44 (0) 8705 888 444. RBS has promised to reimburse customers for the cost of calling its helpline.

The FOS says customers who are not at fault should be returned to the position they would have been in had the failure never occurred.

Would a computer glitch like NatWest's make you leave your bank? Vote in our poll.

Your most pressing questions answered

Q. I have direct debits that were affected and have now been charged a penalty fee. Do I have to pay it?
A. Yes, you will have to pay it in the first instance. However, RBS has confirmed that it will make sure “no one is out of pocket” due to this glitch so you should be able to get a refund from the bank.

Q. I defaulted on a payment because of this. Will it tarnish my credit record?
A. It may do, but as it is not your fault you should be able to get it removed, as it was a mistake. RBS has promised that it will work directly with the credit agencies to ensure no one will be affected by this glitch.

However, it is important to take action quickly as the credit rating agencies - Experian, Equifax and Callcredit - will be inundated with enquiries and are likely to face a backlog too. If you are at all worried this might have affected your credit rating, it's worth keeping an eye on your credit report.

Q. I'm not an RBS customer but I have still been caught up in the problems. What can I do?
A. Many non-RBS customers may also have been inconvenienced, as they may not have received payments from individuals and companies banking with RBS.

If you have been affected, you should contact your own bank, which should then take up the case on your behalf with RBS.

Q. I've received an email from RBS with a link to click on. Is it genuine?
A. The short answer is NO. Banks never send emails asking for your personal banking details. Unfortunately, if RBS customers haven't already suffered enough, there are now a couple of scam emails circulating, as fraudsters try to cash in on the disaster. Watch out!

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