Wednesday night saw RBS's computer systems in meltdown as customers were left without access to their cash once again, for the second time in 9 months. Thousands of UK customers took to social media reporting problems with ATMs, chip and pin, and online banking platforms as of 9pm on Wednesday 07 March.Laura Willoughby of Move your Money said:
"This is like groundhog day. Could RBS make things any worse for their already battered and bruised customers?"
"This is a major cock-up and it will be customers and UK taxpayers who lose out. RBS share prices will take a pounding, just as George Osborne and David Cameron talk up selling the bailed out bank. Perhaps the bonus announcements last week were a little hasty!"
Social media channels filled with furious customers of RBS, NatWest and Ulster Bank, reporting red faces when attempting to pay for meals and being stranded with no transport.
In June 2012 RBS and its NatWest and Ulster bank subsidiaries suffered a chronic and sustained IT meltdown affecting the majority of retail banking clients across its 7.5 million UK customer base, seeing customers locked out of accounts and transactions and withdrawals in disarray for up to a week.
Last years failures were widely attributed to a decision by RBS to outsource its IT department to India, resulting in the loss of 1,600 skilled UK jobs. It remains to be seen if the current problems will be as prolonged as the 2012 outage which was reported to cost RBS Â£125m in customer compensation. As IT failures continued into a week, questions were asked whether RBS was infact facing a crisis of liquidity, forcing Mervyn King to publicly comment on the issue.
Laura Willoughby added:
"What is for certain is that RBS customers already seething from news of Libor fines, bonuses, and last years meltdown, will not be as forgiving a second time around. People are already saying they will move their money."Â
"Stephen Hester may be cursing bad luck, but once again this points at major operational and customer service failings at RBS. He promised this would not happen again."
For customers fed up with being locked out and abused by RBS, there is at least some good news. There is a growing network of local, mutual, and ethical banks that provide a reliable and honest good service, whilst supporting SME's and investing in socially useful activities. Check out http://www.moveyourmoney.org.uk/ for further information. Its time to bank on something better.
Contact Move Your Money for advice on compensation for late payment and where to Move your Money – www.moveyourmoney.org.uk.
Image by Sebastian Ballard [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons