NatWest to reimburse customers for IT fault

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The banking group behind NatWest’s latest IT collapse has promised to compensate customers who were left out of pocket as a result of being blocked from accessing their cash.

Furious customers have deluged the bank with complaints about its second computer hitch to happen within a year, which has also affected sister banks Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) and Ulster Bank.

RBS Group has apologised for the “unacceptable failure”, which it said was due to a hardware fault unrelated to last summer’s meltdown that cost the group £175m to put right.

Problems from around 9pm yesterday meant that customers were barred from withdrawing money at ATMs, with reports of some having their cards “swallowed” at cashpoints. Online and telephone banking services were also disrupted.

The bank said that the hitch was cleared up a couple of hours later, but some customers were still reporting problems on NatWest’s website yesterday. The group is urging customers who have been left worse off to get in touch and promised that they will not be permanently out of pocket.

A statement from RBS Group said: “This problem was caused by a hardware fault and was not related to the issues we experienced last summer. It was much easier to fix, though clearly an unacceptable failure.

“Any customer who was left out of pocket due to this outage should get in touch so we can put things right for them.”

A spokeswoman for the group said claims will be looked at on a “case by case basis” to work out if people should be compensated.

Customers will not be automatically entitled to a payout and those who believe they are entitled to some cash should keep evidence such as receipts.

NatWest customer Darren Reuben said he had to get someone else to cover a restaurant bill. He said that he was given £70 in compensation to help cover the embarrassment caused.