Millions of NatWest customers were unable to make payments through the bank’s online website last week, as the system crashed for more than 4 hours. The failure is the latest in a series for the RBS and NatWest group, which is engaged in an expensive struggle with outdated IT systems.
A key cause of this problem is that its IT systems were formed over years of mergers and acquisitions with other lenders. The biggest crash came over several weeks in the summer of 2012, and left millions of customers unable to make payments, check their balances or access their accounts properly. Regulators fined the group a total of £65m for that failure.
The online website problem was resolved in the afternoon, with services resuming at around 18:00. When the service was down, Natwest asked customers to use the telephone banking service, or to visit branches. “We apologise to customers for the inconvenience,” the group said in a statement.
January’s crash comes amid more pending UK Natwest bank branch closures.
Natwest bank closures spark protests at Keyworth and Radcliffe-on-Trent branches
Residents and councillors from both Radcliffe-on-Trent and Keyworth staged simultaneous protests on Saturday January outside their respective Natwest banks – collecting nearly 750 residents signatures in support of the campaign.
RBS announced that the two Natwest banks would close on March 11th because of a 20 percent decline in transactions but residents say they will not take the decision lying down. Keyworth campaigners will be holding a further demonstration outside the Natwest, in the square, on Wednesday January 21st, starting at 10:00 to coincide with bank opening time and lasting about an hour.