RBS left red-faced by new IT glitch

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RBS has been hit by another embarrassing IT failure that left customers unable to access their accounts online via its mobile app.

Two million customers at the taxpayer-backed bank, which includes NatWest, have the app on smartphones and tablet computers, and many took to Twitter to express frustration after they were unable to use it to check their money.

RBS apologised over the glitch as it scrambled to restore the service. The app was out of action for two and a half hours.

The failure follows a fiasco last summer that saw payments go awry, wages appear to go missing and home purchases and holidays interrupted. It cost the bank £175m in costs and compensation.

RBS is 81 per cent publicly owned and hopes are rising that it can soon be returned to the private sector after being rescued at the height of the financial crisis.

Its latest annual results saw it record losses of £5.2bn, including a £390m settlement for rate-fixing and £1.1 billion provision for mis-selling.

The new glitch is particularly embarrassing as the bank is looking to shift its focus towards online customers.

Last week it announced that it was cutting 1,400 jobs in its retail arm as it moved investment into “things that matter most to customers” including mobile and online services.

It has been encouraging customers to use the app, sending out tweets which read: “Is it easy to pay someone with your bank’s mobile app? It’s simple with RBS.”

Frustrated customers this morning described how they tried to access the app but were told there was no internet connection – although other apps were working.

One said he was logged out in mid-transaction. He received a response from RBS apologising and telling him to “try again later”. Another Twitter user wrote: “RBS app decides to play up on the 1 day of the month I need to know whether it’s payday or not.”