NatWest and RBS customers hit by credit card glitch

Patrick Collinson Personal finance editor
Photograph: Paul Bradbury/Getty/Caiaimage

NatWest and Royal Bank of Scotland customers have been hit by computer problems preventing them from accessing credit card information, and the bank’s call centres are unable to deal with credit card queries.

The outage, which is believed to have first been spotted in the early hours of Monday, comes at an unfortunate time for many customers as they prepare to pay their monthly bills.

Generally, RBS customers have until the end of the 20th of the month to pay off their credit cards in full if they wish to avoid interest or other charges.

The bank has not posted any information about the computer glitch on its social media feeds or mobile app, but it said on its website: “Some customers are unable to view credit card information on online and mobile banking.

“We are also experiencing some problems with our telephony service for credit cards, which is limiting our ability to assist customers over the phone. We apologise for any inconvenience that this may cause. We are working to resolve these problems as quickly as possible.”

The glitch is likely to affect a relatively small number of RBS’s 14 million customers, given that few have yet aired their complaints on social media.

But RBS remains haunted by the worst IT failure to hit a UK bank, when in 2012 its services went into meltdown after a failed software upgrade.

That failure, plus the crash at TSB in April last year, prompted regulators and consumer groups to demand tougher action to ensure Britain’s banks are operationally resilient.

In March, Which? Money revealed that British banks were being hit by IT or security failures that prevented customers from making payments at an average rate of more than once a day.

In the most comprehensive analysis carried out since banks started disclosing serious IT glitches, the consumer group found there were 302 incidents that prevented customers from making payments in the last nine months of 2018.

A spokesperson for RBS said: “We are aware that some of our customers are experiencing intermittent problems viewing their credit cards online and on the mobile app. This is a result of system issues being experienced by a third-party service provider.

“We apologise to any customers impacted and are working with the third-party provider to resolve these issues as quickly as possible. Customers can continue to use their credit cards as usual and no customer will be left out of pocket.”