Tesco Bank has ‘apologised unreservedly’ to its customers for the chaos caused by the failure of its online banking system, and has said it will reimburse people who can prove they lost out financially as a result of the confusion.
Some customers were locked out of their accounts for as long as three days from last Sunday, as an attempt to transfer all Tesco savings accounts and loans information to a new system went wrong. This has led to financial difficulty for individuals and families who were reliant upon their savings to pay urgent bills – and in some cases this may have led to late payment charges being applied to their accounts.
Tesco Bank’s call centre struggled to cope with the number of consumers attempting to contact it for information about getting access to their money. A message on its website says it has now increased the number of call centre staff available to help customers access their accounts.
Tesco Bank says the majority of customers are now able to access their accounts, although some people may still be experiencing problems. Users of the Internet Explorer 9 browser are apparently the most likely to be experiencing compatibility issues with the Tesco Bank website, and are being advised to address these using Tesco’s advice – or to try and access the Tesco Bank website using a different browser such as Firefox or Google Chrome.
Online banking problems
‘What has happened to Tesco Bank customers this week is regrettable,’ says Paul Davies, savings analyst at Which?. ‘For many people, choosing to bank online – in such a way as they don’t have access to their cash through a branch – is a big step. Incidents like this dent people’s faith in the technology financial institutions use, and don’t help to support the case for online-only financial products.
‘That said, problems on the scale experienced by Tesco customers this week are rare – and many of our members report positive experiences with internet-based banks. For example, First Direct always performs brilliantly in our customer satisfaction surveys, and won the Best Financial Services Provider prize at this year’s Which? Awards for the second year in a row.
‘If you’re thinking of banking or saving online, it’s important to consider the pros and cons of doing so – and if you feel concerned about potential accessibility issues, consider keeping some cash in a branch-based account that you could get at in an emergency.’
To compare current accounts and savings accounts, and to see which providers Which? members rate the most highly, visit the reviews on our website.
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