Yet another banking glitch leaves millions of customers stranded
NatWest’s online banking system is up and running again after a crash over the Bank Holiday that left 6.5million NatWest, RBS and Ulster Bank customers unable to access their accounts.
According to monitoring website Down Detector, the problems started at around 9.00am on Bank Holiday Monday, with customers reporting that they couldn’t access either web or app services.
The issue was largely fixed by 1.00pm, although there have been a few blips since then. Occasional outages are still being reported, with customers seeing a message telling them that services are temporarily available.
The issue follows another, major, glitch at HSBC last Friday that left more than a quarter of a million people without their wages at the beginning of the bank holiday weekend.
Customers of all banks were left stranded, as BACS payments from employers that banked with HSBC failed to go through. HSBC says around 275,000 people were affected, but that it has been working to resolve the issue. Most payments, it says, were finally processed by Sunday.
But while all banks are subject to the odd hiccup, NatWest parent RBS appears to have had more than its fair share of problems. In 2012, most notably, a similar payments crash lasted for weeks, and led to a £56 million fine.
Earlier this year, the bank pledged to invest £3.5 billion to make sure its systems were more resilient and secure. However, problems have continued, and just a month ago, customers were again unable to get at their wages after the site was hit by a cyber attack.
Criminals bombarded the website with requests in what’s known as a distributed denial of service (DoS) attack that left genuine customers unable to access the site.
“The issues that some customers experienced accessing online banking this morning were due to a surge in internet traffic deliberately directed at the website,” the bank explained. As many as 600,000 payments went astray.
As for this latest episode, NatWest has apologised and said things should be running smoothly from now on.
“Some customers experienced issues with online and mobile banking for a short period. This is now resolved. We apologise to our customers for any inconvenience this caused.”