NatWest customers suffer second day of disruptionNationwide repays those hit by double debits

27 July 2012

Bank sign

Customers of NatWest faced a second day of disruption as some reported direct debit payments being rejected while others struggled to access their accounts online.

An as yet unknown number of NatWest's customers were unable to access their funds Friday morning after hardware failure at one of the bank's technology centres prevented people from using their debit cards, accessing their accounts online and resulted in pay packets bouncing on Thursday.

Meanwhile, Nationwide building society has managed to resolve its problem after thousands of customers' accounts took a double payment hit earlier in the week.

Second day of struggle for NatWest customers

After claiming its online banking facilities and debit card transactions were back up and running, many NatWest customers logged onto the bank’s website Friday morning to tell them otherwise.

NatWest said while the problems were resolved last night there were 'a small number' of payments due to go through yesterday which will now be processed today.

A spokesman for NatWest said all of the bank's systems are now working as normal but added: 'We continue to monitor the situation closely and apologise for any inconvenience caused. We will, of course, ensure that no customer is left out of pocket as a result.'

Nationwide's customers to be repaid in full

Meanwhile, Nationwide appeared to have resolved its problem after thousands of customers were affected by double debit payments.

Almost 705,000 accounts were affected and almost 50,000 were adversely so - seeing transactions declined - because of the fault which was caused by 'human error' on Wednesday.

The building society apologised to its customers and added it will repay any charges incurred as a result of the problem.

How to complain about financial services

According to the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS), banks and building societies are obliged to return affected customers to the position they should have been in had the problem not occurred.

Use our guide to complaining about financial services and let your bank or building society know if you have been affected.

Keep a detailed record of any costs that you have incurred and/or payments missed – both to and from your account – as a result of the incident.

If you submit an official complaint, the building society will have up to eight weeks to resolve it but if it hasn't done so within that timeframe or you are not satisfied with the outcome you can take your complaint to FOS.

Can I claim for compensation?

If you were seriously affected, you can claim for compensation by asking your bank or building society first. 

If that is not successful, take it to FOS as they may make awards to cover distress and inconvenience but the amount will depend on the individual circumstances of the case.

How to switch bank account

The latest incidents come just weeks after millions of NatWest customers were affected by another IT meltdown, and are also hot on the heels of Barclays' record fine for fixing Libor rates.

That has led many customers to proclaim on message boards and social networking websites that they will switch bank accounts.

If you're fed up with poor service or rates, use our guide to switching your bank account.

More on this...

  • How to make a complaint – a full guide to complaining about your bank or building society
  • Switching bank accounts – we give you top tips on how to do it
  • Which Money Helpline – call us for help with your financial queries