Bank sorry as balance glitch hits customers

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NatWest branches were being kept open late yesterday to help a “large number” of customers who have been affected by technical hitches which failed to properly update their account balances.

The problems, which meant people struggled to use online services, have also affected Ulster Bank customers and a “small number” of customers who use the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS), which belong to the same banking group.

More than 1,000 NatWest branches in major towns and cities were being kept open until 7pm yesterday, a spokesman for the RBS Group said.

The banking group apologised to customers for the problems, which began on Wednesday and meant that many people found their balances had not been updated overnight.

The spokesman said: “This is a technical problem affecting a large number of NatWest and Ulster Bank customers, and a small number of RBS customers, including some of our business customers.

“It was caused by a failure of our systems to properly update customers’ balances overnight.

“The main problem customers are having is that where people have had money go into their accounts overnight, there may be a delay in it showing up on their balance.

“This is an unacceptable inconvenience for our customers, for which we apologise.”

He said the problem would be fixed “as soon as possible” and no customers would be left permanently out of pocket.

As many customers vented their frustrations on Twitter, Bob Spearman, from Petworth, West Sussex, told the BBC his tax credit payment had not been paid into his NatWest account. “We, like many other low-income families, live from week to week and the Child Tax Credit weekly payment is a lifeline on which we rely,” he said.