As RBS’ ATM “Glitch” Enters Fifth Day, The Bailed Out Bank Issues A Statement
Over the past week, various entities controlled by bailed out UK-bank RBS, focusing primarily on NatWest, have seen clients unable to access virtually any of their funds, perform any financial transactions, or even get an accurate reading of their assets. The official reason: “system outage”… yet as the outage drags on inexplicably for the 5th consecutive day, the anger grows, as does speculation that there may be more sinister reasons involved for the cash hold up than a mere computer bug.
The Scotsman.com reports:
BRANCHES of Royal Bank of Scotland will open on a Sunday for the first time this weekend as RBS Group struggles to deal with the aftermath of technical problems that have affected up to 12 million customers. The taxpayer-owned group took the unprecedented step of extending the hours of more than 1,000 RBS and NatWest branches that normally open on a Saturday to 6pm, and opening them again tomorrow morning, as it faces an angry backlash from people unable to access accounts, withdraw wages or pay bills and mortgage payments.
The difficulties, which have hit NatWest, RBS and Ulster Bank users, are entering their fifth day. RBS said the backlog had been caused by a “system outage” on Tuesday, and that it was “working around the clock” to resolve it.
Some customers said their home purchases or holiday plans had been plunged into chaos by the glitches, while others vowed to switch banking provider. Fears have been raised that thousands could be hit with penalty charges if their regular bill payments, such as for their mortgage, are affected. Consumer groups called on the banking behemoth to provide “appropriate compensation” to those customers who suffer as a consequence of the “failure”.
It appears the difficulties have hit hardest at NatWest, which has more than 7.5m personal banking customers. RBS Group said it could not tell how many had been affected as it was not possible to know when they were expecting payments into their accounts.
Problems are spreading beyond just RBS:
A group spokeswoman said it was “too early to say” how many RBS or NatWest customers in Scotland had been affected, but added: “The RBS problems seem to have been solved. The backlog being dealt with now has to do with NatWest customers predominantly.”
However, the problem is not confined to RBS account holders. Some non-customers are suffering as their employers use the group, and have not received their salary payments. Customers of RBS Group’s banking transaction services include the Government Banking Service, which looks after the balances of hundreds of public sector organisations, from government departments through to executive agencies.
RBS Group, which has 317 RBS and six NatWest branches in Scotland, said 192 RBS branches would be open today, a number of which would stay open until 6pm. Across the UK, hundreds more branches will extend their hours tonight, as well as opening tomorrow between 9am and 12 noon.
Extract from another web site by another author:
NatWest sacked 1,800 highly-trained and experienced UK IT staff, the last having left a few weeks ago. NatWest now has virtually no staff who understand how its banking systems work in the UK or employed by it. All the ‘work’ and ‘testing’ is now carried out by 800 ‘contractors’ in India. The replacements have demonstrated they do not have a clue what they are doing.
Who, out of the senior management who signed this off, who thought ‘IT is not at the heart of what we do, let’s outsource it’, who decided ‘these guys in India know what they are doing’ is going to take responsibility for this fiasco?
If you’re a customer, these are the two questions you need answered next week:
1. Are you going bring the design and maintenance of your IT infrastructure back to the UK and under your control?
2. Has Susan Allen, Director, Change and Business Services, responsible for ‘Transformation Programme across the Retail Division encompassing all channels and functions. Establish Lean capability. Ensure services provided by Business Services (IT, Ops, Property) support delivery of the objectives of the RBS UK Retail, Wealth and Ulster businesses’ resigned yet?
If the answer to either question is no, move your accounts to another bank next week. If you can, if the systems are working again before the next IT disaster.
PS The problem was caused by a botched ‘upgrade’ to the CA7 batch scheduling suite and the loss of the schedule. There is, of course, no RBS employee left in the UK who understands this any longer.
PPS Those current NatWest adverts demonstrating the ease with which money can be transferred using a smartphone look pretty ridiculous now, don’t they?
I withdrew a £1000 yesterday in branch, then went back an hour later to withdraw another 3k from my current account, just to be on the safe side. I was told i could not have 3k, as they did not know how much i had in my account. I said well you just let me take £1000 out an hour ago. She said I trusted you had it in but cant do it again, you can have a max of £300. Aafter some argueing I managed to get another £1k and was told I could not go to another branch and try for any more as it would flag up and they would deny me any more.