RBS and NatWest face second day of outages

Account balances still fail to update for RBS and NatWest customers as the banks go into their second day of technical issues

Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) and NatWest customers are still facing technical issues as an IT failure continues to cause havoc for the banking group.

Bank customers first found their RBS and NatWest services were unavailable at lunchtime yesterday, when online banking users were unable to access their accounts. 

RBS then released a statement confirming account balances had not updated overnight and, as a result, customers were having trouble accessing their funds.  

A spokesman updated account holders yesterday afternoon, saying it would keep over 1,000 NatWest branches open until 7pm to help with the “unacceptable inconvenience for customers.”

However, the technical issues have yet to resolve and users face the same problems with the weekend approaching.

“Unfortunately we are once again experiencing technical issues with our systems and account balances have not updated properly overnight,” a spokesman told Computer Weekly. 

“This means where money has gone into a customer’s account, there may be a delay in it appearing on their balance. We can assure our customers that this problem is strictly of a technical nature and we continue to work hard to resolve this.”

Pressed on the nature of the problem, RBS would only confirm that the faults were not the result of hacking activity.

Michael Allen, director of IT service management at software and services firm Compuware, said the increasing complexity of IT systems running online banking meant such difficulties were harder to control and fix.

“The problem is that IT systems have become vastly more complex. An e-banking service could rely on 20 different IT systems,” Allen said.

"Even if a small change is made to one of these systems, it can cause major problems for the whole banking service, which could be what's happened at RBS.

“Finding the root cause of the problem is probably something RBS is struggling with because of the complexity of the IT systems in any bank. 

"Once the dust settles, I'm sure they will take a look at how they can improve the reliability and performance of their IT and how they can get live deep dive diagnostics so they can get to the root of problems much quicker.”

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