back to article Tech fault at RBS and Natwest freezes millions of UK bank balances

RBS and Natwest have failed to register inbound payments for up to three days, customers have reported, leaving people unable to pay for bills, travel and even food. The banks - both owned by RBS Group - have confirmed that technical glitches have left bank accounts displaying the wrong balances and certain services unavailable …

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  1. Huntsman
    Stop

    What is

    this pay check you speak of?

    1. iCode86

      Re: What is

      It's when your wife duly informs you on pay day that you have no money left after she has checked your account.

    2. Andrew James

      Re: What is

      its the American version of a Pay Cheque.

      1. Hieronymus Howerd

        Re: Andrew

        Yeah, but what's a "Pay Cheque"? I have literally never seen one, and I'm fairly long in the tooth.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Pay Check

          Never mind if it is the American version of anything this is a bloody UK sight so stick to UK language please.

          1. 142
            Headmaster

            Those in glass houses....

            In both American and UK English the correct noun is 'site'.

            Though given the tenor of your comment, perhaps you were looking for a similarly spelt noun: one with a letter 'h'?

            1. LinkOfHyrule
              Paris Hilton

              Re: Those in glass houses....

              I thought this SITE was bi-Atlantic?

    3. Graham Marsden
      Coat

      Re: What is

      Wasn't it a rather naff film...?

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So

    Looks like I'll have to lend my folks some money then as they both bank with RBS.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Oooh

    Not good, I used to work there pre-redundancy... This is a highly unusual state of affairs, the IT in major UK banks is highly complex, I could have a few wild stabs in the dark at what may have caused the problem, but will hold myself back.

    I will comment though, that RBS staff have taken shit for several years now general morale is pretty low. This is from the new management offshoring their jobs, random redundancies, random non-redundancies where people have been told they're going and then asked to stay on again and again, protesters outside your office/branch. Also, at the height of the financial crisis the abuse that you'd get from random strangers when they found out who you worked for was staggering. The landlady at my local told me once that "you can just tell them to f*ck off, you know".

    I loved my time at RBS, great people, fantastic IT, but sadly it just all got too much and when the voluntary redundancies were offered, I jumped...

    1. sugerbear

      Re: Oooh

      [quote]I loved my time at RBS, great people, fantastic IT, but sadly it just all got too much and when the voluntary redundancies were offered, I jumped...

      [/quote]

      Same here. Was quite good until about 2005/6 ish when they started the offshoring and bell curve (end) performance management stuff. I suppose the root cause wont be "sacked all the decent staff and shipped them off to mumbai"

      3 days for ALL customers. That IS bad. Would have been resolved within hours when I worked there. Glad I am not there anymore.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Oooh

        [quote]

        Same here. Was quite good until about 2005/6 ish when they started the offshoring and bell curve (end) performance management stuff. I suppose the root cause wont be "sacked all the decent staff and shipped them off to mumbai"

        3 days for ALL customers. That IS bad. Would have been resolved within hours when I worked there. Glad I am not there anymore.

        [/quote]

        Had to do a double take there and reread the article, thought you were talking about another bailed out bank doing exactly the same.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Oooh

        Pretty much the same here. The problem would have lasted half a day at most. In most businesses, and the same there, you just key it in "manually" the next day or do a "roll back" if it's a computer bug. Seems there is too much concentration on the profits/sales and not on the good work the staff are doing. Fast forward a few years and your left with profits but failing IT I guess. Hope the problem gets sorted soon for those still there working hard despite all the efforts of the management. Oh, and the customers too!!!

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Oooh

      It was only a matter of time before a major incident was going to happen. My job went to India too, and while some of the Indians have OK technical skills, the churn is so high nobody understands how anything works or hangs together.

      I hope the accounts who thought it would be cheaper to offshore the IT find out just how much it's really going to cost them.

      And God help us all when the EU forces our banks to be split up - that's an IT disaster just waiting to be screwed up by offshore IT workers who's banking won't be affected when the systems are down for days.

      1. sugerbear

        Re: Oooh

        [quote] an IT disaster just waiting to be screwed up by offshore IT workers who's banking won't be affected when the systems are down for days.[/quote]

        A very good point, if you work for Natwest or RBS you must have (or you certainly used to have ) a Natwest / RBS bank account so that your wages were paid in. So there is some vested interest in getting things right because you would be directly affected if you screwed up. Not so anymore when you dont use the products you look after.

        UPDATE : Recieved a text this morning from Natwest (22nd) saying that accounts are still affected. All those IT savings are suddenly going to be eaten up by lost customers, refunds, ex gratia payments etc etc.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Oooh

          RBS & Lloysds are both opting to "pay back the government" by slahing roles and offshoring the remainder. The result is an unholy mess like this where they no longer have anyone on site with a clear picture of how things work and then compund the error with change management processes that don't prevent bad changes but seriously impede corrective action.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      could have a few wild stabs in the dark at what may have caused the problem, was Oooh

      The rumours I've heard is it that it was some sort of problem with the CA7 mainframe job scheduler and that the overnight batch system is screwed.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Oooh

      as another ex-Dundas/Goodmans staffer - I'm pretty shocked about how long this has been going on and can't put my finger on what actually broke (although, my knowledge is 4-5yrs out of date) -- we had huge hoops to jump through for various extensions and add-ons to eBanking;

      In other entirely unrelated news, Infosys replaced a lot of the technical workforce with offshore staff over the last 5 years.

  4. mark 63 Silver badge
    Happy

    "Just to let you know, I'm charging NatWest £30 for being incompetent"

    nice one!

    problt not in the t&c's tho

    1. Mike Richards Silver badge

      Hold on - isn't RBS / NatWest taxpayer owned? So that £30 is coming out of our pockets!

      Not a good day for this to happen when it's expected Moody will downgrade the bank's creditworthiness later today.

      1. sabba
        Gimp

        Actually, it's probably a good day for it to happen..

        .. at least from RBS's perspective. At least their can't be a run on the bank if no one can get to their money.

        Cynical? What, me?

    2. Field Marshal Von Krakenfart

      "Just to let you know, I'm charging NatWest £30 for being incompetent"

      Only £30?????????????????

      1. druck Silver badge

        It would only be reasonable to go through their terms and conditions to find every example of penalties and fees when you late with a payment, and charge them then the same.

  5. Caff

    This impacted on Ulster Bank in Ireland as well. Epic fail, http://www.ulsterbank.ie/roi/personal/generic/service-update.ashx

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Err...

      All of RBS' systems are hosted on the same back end, with the same code, just in different databases. The different companies which you bank with are just "brands" applied over the top, so it's not surprising that everything would be affected.

  6. squilookle
    FAIL

    Today is payday for us. My wages were not showing this morning on my account balance, and I could not get a statement online.I checked again at abut 15:00 and I can now get a statement online that shows my wage is there, but the balance has yet to be updated to reflect it, so there is some movement, atleast.

    I have more due to come out over the next few days than I have in the account (unless my balance gets fixed today) and there will be trouble if they try to charge me for going over. I see a few people have asked what will happen in that case on Twitter but they are ignoring customer questions and just tweeting canned statements every so often.

    Natwest have been nothing but trouble for me since I joined them three years ago, and I'm already shopping around to move on.

    1. Andrew James

      You may need to provide evidence from your employer that the value date on the payment they sent was prior to the date at which your bank bounced all your direct debits etc. But upon doing so, your bank will then be liable for any fees incurred as a result of their error.

      1. squilookle
        Pint

        @Andrew James

        Good advice, cheers.

        I just checked again and everything is as it should be now. Looks like they are gradually getting it sorted. Hope others are experiencing the same.

        1. Dave the Cat
          Pint

          Yep working for me now too, online banking seems to be working properly and my balance is updating properly.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Hmm...

    I just transfered a fiver in from a Coop account to one of the RBS/England accounts which is being moved over to Santander. The fiver was moved between accounts, using faster payments, in less time that I could log off my Coop account and into my RBS account.

    It appears that this is a rather more complicated problem than "incoming cash doesn't work".

  8. Electric Panda
    WTF?

    It's 15:44 and I can confirm that I can log into my RBS Digital Banking as usual, but it immediately tells me that the service is currently unavailable and my only option is to log out. I've never seen this during the day and it usually only happens very briefly in the small hours of the morning as can be expected with such systems.

    I can also say that I transferred money out of that account to another provider (a building society) and the funds cleared almost instantly and were credited at the other end. That has never happened before (normally takes 2-3 working days) and I was surprised given that I'm certain sure I wasn't on fast payments.

    The whole thing is a bit odd. Hope they have it fixed soon.

  9. Andrew James

    Our finance department made payments to about 200 people, to hit their accounts on wednesday and thursday (today) this week. Of those 200 people more than 40 have phoned the office to say they've not received their pay, and when i mentioned i heard about this earlier today they've checked and all of them are with RBS or Natwest.

    We've also had a significant problem with one of our customers at the end of last week, and they agreed they would settle the full amount outstanding this week, sending confirmation of payment on Tuesday. The payment hasnt arrived with us. They bank with Natwest. We dont. So obviously they have problems with payment being sent out, and not just with monies coming in.

  10. Tony S

    Welcome to the modern world

    It's easy to scream at the banks for problems like this; and I have nothing but sympathy for all of those affected, both customers and staff.

    But this is the sort of problem that could happen at a lot of places and as more and more business has moved to computerised systems, and then online as well, it means that we are all much more exposed as individuals and as a society.

    Those of us not with RBS group could feel quite smug; until you realise that perhaps your company uses them to process wages or maybe the travel agent for your summer holiday. These things are all getting more and more entwined and what affects one affects all; and ultimately all of society.

    It's really easy to say that they should have BC / DR plans and that these should be tested regularly. But the reality is that sometimes, shit happens. How will you buy fuel if the credit card stops being accepted; or groceries?

    People used to be pretty resilient and local communities would work together. But that is much less likely to happen these days.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Welcome to the modern world

      They do have DR and continuity plans, it's just that sometimes, it's not as simple as that. It's likely that a failover to the DR datacentre wouldn't sort anything out for this sort of problem.

      As it happens, my money is on a routing payments type issue. RBS are doing lots of work at the moment moving accounts to separate silos because they're being made to sell all the NatWest/Scot and the RBS/England accounts to Santander. Is this some sort of sort code issue? If it is a sort code issue, is that with the clearing houses or with RBS? It appears that faster payments is working, is it actually BACS that isn't? We don't know if CHAPS is working, although a three day outage would have Stephen Hester visiting the BoE to explain himself, so that's unlikely. What about cheque processing, is that working? Are internal transfers working? That's only just scratching the surface, there are so many ways to move money these days.

      1. A Leach

        Re: Welcome to the modern world

        Want to email into the Reg and tell us a little more...?

        >> news@theregister.co.uk

      2. JudeKay (Written by Reg staff)

        Re: Re: Welcome to the modern world

        Hi A/C...

        Would you mind getting in touch with El Reg's Anna Leach - aleach@theregister.com? She'd love to have a word in private.

        Regards,

        El Mod

    2. Gene Cash Silver badge
      FAIL

      Re: Welcome to the modern world

      No. This is a bank, and they have my money. I expect them to have their shit together. It's their job.

      The fact they've probably sacked all the expensive folk that knew their jobs, and scrimped on DR/BC is not my problem. If this happened at my bank, I'd be out of there as fast as I could pull my money & direct deposit out.

      This is exactly the sort of thing the "fail" icon was meant for.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Your money?

        Why did you lend it to the bank by having it on deposit there in the first place? You are the fail not the system.

    3. Nick L
      Joke

      Re: Welcome to the modern world

      Air travel and banking systems? Reminds me of Dilbert... http://dilbert.com/strips/comic/1996-01-31/

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Dilbert...

        ... so true at times it hurts...

  11. g e

    Didn't another bank stuff up just the other day?

    Quel coincidence... or is it

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Didn't another bank stuff up just the other day?

      Yes, it is.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Money issues

    Software glitch or insolvent?

  13. James 100

    23m customers - until this happened

    "According to their corporate information RBS Group has 26m customers in the UK."

    That was LAST week... expect smaller numbers now.

    "The fiver was moved between accounts, using faster payments,"

    FPS is separate from BACS - something wrong with the RBS BACS connection?

    Quite why the whole RBS-Natwest-UlsterBank-everythingelse behemoth was allowed to grow to that size in the first place, I don't know. (Well, I have some suspicions...)

  14. Caff

    Guess this is what you get when HP run your systems

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Err...

      It's a good job the don't then, isn't it?

      (HP ran some of ABN Amro, nothing at RBS itself.)

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Hmm

      You can guess, but HP don't run RBS's "systems", so it's a strange exercise to undertake ...

      1. Caff

        Re: Hmm

        I thought that EDS ( owned by HP ) run the RBS systems ?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Hmm

          @Caff: Nope.

          You may be getting mixed up with the former Bank of Scotland, possibly?

          1. Caff

            Re: Hmm

            That could be it my bad.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Hmm

              Your bad what?. Bad is an adjective and should be followed by a noun.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Hmm

                It's you're bad

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Hmm

          HP/EDS do still do some app support stuff for RBS NV (the bit that used to be ABN Amro), but nothing related to the systems which screwed up this week.

  15. S4qFBxkFFg
    Thumb Down

    Ouch.

    For anyone involved this could cause serious problems.

    I'm glad I moved all my money to another bank when they weren't allowed to go bust.

  16. David 140
    WTF?

    10 or 15 yrs ago I can remember saying to our Business Manager: "if only the Bank spent more time looking after its customers and staff, and less time on gambling in the USA and corporate greed, things would be so much better, I think".

    The manager replied: "I know, that's why I'm leaving next week"...

  17. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

    I was in NatWest today, sorting out mortgagey type stuff. Or trying to. They don't appear to have much of their internal stuff working at all. The staff said they'd been told it should be up and running by 4pm, but none of them believed it.

    Apparently most of their systems weren't working, so they couldn't check balances or even print out mortgage rates. And they also said that more stuff went wrong today, than wasn't working yesterday.

  18. Electric Panda

    Update

    It's now 17.11 and my RBS Digital Banking now works fine.

  19. Snowy Silver badge
    Black Helicopters

    Would be interesting if this was the left over effects from a "digital bank robery"

    Step one Open account with a small amount of cash

    Step two break the bank system some how

    Step three take the said deposit out and due to this not showing on your balance repeat a few times

    Going with http://forums.theregister.co.uk/post/1449940 (Electric Panda's post) the transfering out is happening faster than normally.

  20. Jemma Silver badge
    FAIL

    HSBC are just as 'good'.

    I walk into my bank in town, wanting to deposit a cheque.

    I have driven into town and parked for this express task which should take me 30 seconds.

    I write the cheque slip and carefully follow the instructions for the new machines that they have installed (not to mention, of course, the previous wasted trip, because since re decorating the bank closes at 5pm, and you cant get in at any time like you used to).

    I carefully put the cheque and the slip in the machine - slip on top - the machine barfs it out

    Try again - barfs it out, 'no slip' message...

    Try yet again - wondering why I left the claw hammer in the car - barfs it out, 'no slip' message.

    Ask customer support drone if there is a problem with the machine. She says no.

    I say I have tried three times and three times its barfed it back out with an error.

    Her reply? "Oh, it did that before with the previous customer just before you came in"

    I suggest that it might be an idea to put an out of order sign on it to stop people using it and having problems/losing cheques/cards/beating the crap out of it with a claw hammer...

    "why would we do that? it sometimes works....."

    Leaving me to wish fervently by this point that I carried a claw hammer at all times - and that eugenics had caught on. Its lucky for many 'customer service' people that its illegal in the UK to carry a gun, because their life expectancy would be extremely short. On the upside it would help the economy - all those interior decorators making shed-loads of money...

    Another HSBC highlight to share. Two payments cross on my credit card - one to pay for car repairs and a payment into the CC account to partially cover it. I get the statement and the payment in doesnt seem to have been taken into account although its visible online. I send a message to servicedrone 'to check whether the balance has actually been adjusted accordingly' whose enlightened response was...

    "I can see it on the statement'

    which leaves me precisely no further forward than before *sigh*.

    Sorry to hear about the person who is food-less and appointment-less as a result of this monumental screw up - might be worth charging them for the wasted time. I find 35/hr to be a good round figure. Oh, and should your daughter require treatment, I would bill them for that as well, especially if it turns out to be something serious, heaven forfend.

    My personal NHS highlight on that note is my partner who died in 2008 (at 22) being told, at the age of 17 by the NHS, to her face no less. "Yes, the cancer's come back, you're gonna die, so we arent going to bother treating you as its a waste of our time and resources". And I quote. People might remember a similar phrase from a episode of Blackadder featuring Lord Flasheart - had I been there at the time my response would have been somewhat similar, although probably involving a chainsaw.

    1. Mike Richards Silver badge

      Re: HSBC are just as 'good'.

      Those automated paying-in machines are useless. They seem to need as many staff on hand to help people use the wretched technology as were once employed behind the counter processing cheques and making payments. I assume there has been a saving somewhere, but I'm damned if I can work out where.

  21. David Gosnell

    Santander got jealous

    Couldn't help noticing Santander's on-line banking image verification thingy was well and truly shafted this morning. How many people were affected will depend on just which of their various on-line interfaces currently in use individuals happen to be blighted with.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    You forgot to mention,,,,

    The banks - both owned by RBS Group, The majority shareholder, the UK Government, ie uk taxpayers

    1. Jemma Silver badge

      Re: You forgot to mention,,,,

      I wouldnt shout too loud - especially if your surname is Hutton - you might get a sudden bout of government induced (terminal) depression...

  23. DJGM
    Paris Hilton

    Why only have one bank account?

    It's always worthwhile to have a secondary bank account set up (obviously with a different bank) especially with such monumental feck ups like this latest one by the RBS Group. Since I got a second account set up with Yorkshire Bank back in 2008 alongside my account with Alliance and Leicester (before they got swallowed up whole by Santander) I have much better control over my money. Bills and "Pay checks" in one account, and the other for general spending.

    Paris ... because she's quite well accustomed to getting screwed!

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Radio4

    Radio four news just said that they're keeping most of their branches open until 1900 this evening to help customers who've got problems. They also implied that it was only a problem with money that was due to go in last night. If this is the case, it's probably some sort of batch run failure and will be caught up again tonight.

  25. The Alpha Klutz
    Thumb Up

    this is what happens when society falls

    you think you will get compensation haha fuck you no you wont.

    you can just enjoy being homeless when your rent cheque goes boing. obviously they dont care.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: this is what happens when society falls

      Except, they obviously do care: They kept their branches open late tonight to help deal with the problem and released a statement saying that no-one would be out of pocket as a result of what has happened.

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

  26. Nick 6
    Windows

    My money on

    My guess.....Batch screw up, big back log of transactions to post, have some data remediation to get them to post correctly (don't know if they run a batch or real time banking system). Processing capacity requirement to do this is competing with online processing hence flaky online bank (plus peak load due to people checking if they are OK). Faster payments single immediate payments probably ok as not batch interfaces unlike BACS and internal transfers...

    Anyone care to comment ? Via an anon posting from those in the know would be interesting, once you get out of the office of course....

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: My money on

      Canned statement is "It was caused by a failure of our systems to properly update customers' balances overnight." (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-18535060) so read into that what you will...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: My money on

        Unless it has changed drastically, IIRC RBS (and Natwest, they migrated Natwest customers to the RBS system after the takeover) update main customer accounts in batch (on an IBM mainframe, natch.) overnight via a number of "feeder systems" (BACS, Accounting Interface ,etc.) through a number of "streams" through their main account update system (can't remember the exact name it had, Sceptre? - something like that) which cover a range of branches. These originally reflected the distance of the branch from Edinburgh, so stream 'A' was branches in the far distant north and run first, allowing the van with the printouts to leave earliest as it had the furthest to go. Seem to recall that Natwest started at stream 'L'.

        The actual definitive customer account updates were carried out by a number of programs written in assembly language dating back to about 1969-70, and updated since then. These were also choc-full of obscure business rules ("magic" cheque numbers triggered specific processing) and I do not believe anyone there really knew how it all worked anymore, even back in 2001. I remember sitting in a meeting discussing how the charge for using an ATM which charged for withdrawals could be added as a separate item to a customer statement and waving a couple of pages of printouts of the source of one of them. The universal reaction was "wow, can you actually read that?". I can't see them having mucked about with that one too much, since good assembler people are like hen's teeth and it was decidedly non-trivial to make any changes to it, but the accounting rules did change frequently in the feeder systems. My bet is that some change has resulted in discrepancies in the eventual output from these systems, and a combination of retirement and redundancies has left them with very few people who know how it is all supposed to work, and therefore identify the cause of the error and fix it. Or they might have just blown the size limit on one of the output files from the various feeder systems (VSAM IIRC, limit was 4GB, unless they moved to the extended types), or possibly the FICON cable just dropped out of the back of whatever device some of the disk volumes live on.

        Anyway, very complex stuff which all has to just work together. Of course, the moral is, complex mainframe systems require staff with the skills, and in this case, the specific system knowledge to keep things smooth. The fewer of these you have, the more difficult it is to recover from problems like this.

        My $0.02. Perhaps someone with more recent knowledge will care to rebut?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: My money on

      I do believe there are two lines of thought in these instances.

      1) Those who need to know already know and a fix is on the way.

      2) No one knows, not even those who should do!

      :D

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Scheduled power down at RBS Regents House has been cancelled (small computer room there), might take the weekend or next week to sort this out....

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Nah...

      I doubt it - It's standard practice at RBS to stop all changes if anything goes wrong, until everything is fully understood, in order that whatever has gone wrong isn't made worse.

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Queenie

    Isn't Coutts bank part of RBS group too? I wonder if these problems have prevented the Queen from being paid as well - might save the taxpayer a few bob or two if RBS aren't putting her money in her account either!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Queenie

      RBS Coutts are doing just fine.

      AC because we make the software Coutts use. I wonder if the sales guys will shortly be paying a visit to the rest of RBS Group?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Queenie

        Branding point of order: It's just "Coutts" now.

  29. min

    switched

    Bank account to Halifax last Wednesday. kinda thankful, since maybe 6 DDs would have come out of my old NW account this week.

    i'm actually a fan of NW. never had a problem with them. hopefully this will be resolved in a way that does not erode any goodwill they may have had.

    i will second the idea that people should have a second bank account with a competing bank with emergency cash..or at least a few bob under the mattress.

    i used to bank with Santander. had an account in Malaga that took me a year and a half to close (yes..that is how incompetent their Spanish staff are)..so i bet even the worst of RBS cannot match the nonsense i had to put up with.

    it would be good for anyone inconvenienced to be made good...but i doubt this will happen.

  30. JaitcH
    FAIL

    HSBC has these ...

    they call them unscheduled maintenance periods then they refer you to a dead-brained call centre operator in Mumbai.

  31. Daniel Harris 1

    My wages haven't appeared today. Hoping they show by the end of the day. I was still able to take cash out this morning though.

  32. localzuk
    FAIL

    Consequence of all the IT layoffs?

    When you read that they've been sacking IT staff left, right and center, this sort of thing isn't exactly shocking...

    IT don't produce profits directly, but without us? All the other departments don't make any profit either...

    This is going to be costing them a fortune.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Consequence of all the IT layoffs?

      "This is going to be costing them a fortune".

      Unfortunately not, for all values of "them = the ignorant jerks at the top who are making out like bandits".

      I suspect "them" will turn out to be "the taxpayer" - that bottomless well of "resources".

  33. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Outsourced?

    So, has this been outsourced to some Accenture zombies in India?

    As someone who worked for a Building Society, in 10 years I didn't see the overnight updates fail to finish once. We once had some downtime when a DB got corrupted, but we were back the same day.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Outsourced?

      Hey! I'm not a zombie!

  34. John Young
    FAIL

    The queue outside my local branch is ridiculous today, three days without being able to get to any money for me and up to five days for some other people, this has to be one of the biggest fails in recent banking history.

    Thankfully my wife's account is working fine for some reason so at least we have access to her wages, this must be a nightmare for anyone who solely relies on one account which is affected though.

  35. Maverick
    FAIL

    NatWest on line system message @ 06:30

    <quote>Unfortunately we are once again experiencing technical issues with our systems and account balances have not updated properly overnight. This means where money has gone into a customers account, there may be a delay in it appearing on their balance.

    We can assure our customers that this problem is strictly of a technical nature and we continue to work hard to resolve this.

    We also recognise this is an unacceptable inconvenience for our customers, for which we apologise.

    Staff in our branches and at our call centres are ready and available to answer any questions and help where they can. </quote>

    = don't hold your breath for a fix any time soon customer, after all it's Friday!!

    this is the same bunch of idiots who sent my January credit card payment set up on line to completely the WRONG credit card account reference and then blamed the CC company until someone (maybe the FSA) forced them to fess up that they'd cocked up (again)

    I've been with them since 1973 and all was well until RBS took over but time is running out I think.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: NatWest on line system message @ 06:30

      They'll be working round the clock until this is fixed, there will be no slacking off because it's the weekend.

      As for NatWest being all well until RBS took over - The first two things that Fred Goodwin did when RBS took over was canceled the branch closure plan where something like half of NW branches were going to be closed and stopped the off-shoring of the call centres to India. I hate to think what NW would be like, had RBS not taken over.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: NatWest on line system message @ 06:30

        As Natwest had a very conservative (i.e. good) tier one captial ratio (slashed and burned by Goodwin once he took over, RBS liked to have a low tier one captial ration so it could go on a spending spree) it would have been in a very much better position NOW than RBS would have been.

        Problem with Natwest was it was just too conservative with risk. Something Fred could never be accused of.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: NatWest on line system message @ 06:30

        <quote> As for NatWest being all well until RBS took over </quote>

        RBS took over GnatWest, but GnatWest IT took over RBS IT.

  36. Admiral Grace Hopper
    FAIL

    Trust

    Trust is hard won and easily lost.

    While I am sure that the issue will be resolved, lessons learned and remedies and preventive measures put in place, I will no longer be a customer as they have failed to fulfil one of the basic requirements that I have of a bank. I only hasd to happen once.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Trust

      "Trust is hard won and easily lost... I will no longer be a customer..."

      A natural and quite understandable reaction, and one I have often felt myself under similar circumstances.

      BUT... to which other bank are you going to entrust your hard-earned money? I have been a customer of the Bank of Scotland for the best part of 40 years, and I would have sworn by (not "at") them until they were engulfed by the Gordon Geckos of Halifax. Since then they have paid off my mortgage TWICE on the same day (and then sent me a letter telling me I was overdrawn "perhaps through some oversight"), and various other amusing antics. Recently, the Halifax Web site has frequently stopped giving such difficult information as my current balance or the date on which my credit card payment is due.

      I honestly don't believe you could find any UK bank today that can be relied on to give proper service. That's because, instead of competition driving standard UP the way the textbooks say it should, it seems to have driven them DOWN. No bank has any incentive to do better, because they are all cleaning up nicely with their current lousy service. And of course, if they screw up really badly, there is always the government to bail them out with our money.

      Nice work if you can get it - and if you have the stomach and the brass neck.

  37. A Butler

    Can someone answer this question? Who is the outsource IT company responsible? Name and shame.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Who is the outsource IT company responsible?

      Not us this time, thank God.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Nah...

      RBS is internal IT only, with the exception of some residual contracts at the old ABN Amro.

      The thing is that there just isn't enough information at the moment, it could be software, database, OS, hardware, interconntects, anything.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Nah...

        Internal IT is based in Mumbai, but they have agreements with Infosys as well.

  38. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Time to find a new bank

    Too many mistakes, time to find a new bank me thinks.

    1. BritPad
      FAIL

      Re: Time to find a new bank

      Note - Ulster Bank also hit by this problem (in both Northern Ireland and Irish Republic). I wonder if we could use this as an excuse to delay our bailout repayments ??

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Time to find a new bank

        No, Ulcer Bank were bailed out as part of the RBS bailout, ie by the british taxpayers

  39. Silverburn
    Facepalm

    The irony is...

    ...this incident happened around the time they paid their own staff. Most of those missing pay packets are likely to be their own...

  40. Uplink

    Paypal eBay coupon coincidence

    I can't help but wonder if Paypal and RBS share code. I had a coupon last week that I used on eBay, and only half of it went through... and I got charged too. I'm still waiting for them to respond and hopefully give me back my other half of the coupon. And then RBS and Natwest go down together? Hmm...

  41. Ross K
    Mushroom

    Thanks RBS

    Ulster Bank are also titsup.com as regards incoming payments on this side of the Irish Sea...

  42. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Good UK Bank

    I've been with First Direct for over a year and they're great. On the few times I've called them I've been put through to a Native English Human Being within 10 seconds of dialing. Though you need to put in £1,500/month, which should be manageable by the majority on this forum. Also a free £100 for signing up.

  43. Dr Patrick J R Harkin

    Waiting on a pay check

    I doubt if anyone has been kept waiting on a pay check or cheque, although some may have been kept waiting for one. More importantly, will this affect my standing order to the British Pedantic Society (which I am lobbying to have renamed the British Society of Pedants, as it is the members who are pedantic and not the society)?

    1. Neil McDowell
      Headmaster

      Re: Waiting on a pay check

      Surely any society consisting entirely of pedants is a pedantic society?

  44. Dave O
    Joke

    In Dilbert we Trust

    Today's Dilbert might be on the mark. http://dilbert.com/strips/comic/2012-06-22/

  45. David_H
    Joke

    Three days

    Three days to get an Indian guy over from Mumbai to reboot the power is not too bad!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Three days

      That quick? It was two weeks to get a password reset so I could log into my development machine when I was there ...

This topic is closed for new posts.

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