If you’re experiencing online banking or mobile app problems today, see if you can contact your bank to get things resolved.
If you can, go to your local bank branch - especially if you urgently need to access your money.
If you don’t have a local bank branch nearby or transport to get to it, try and call your bank and ask for its guidance on what to do.
For example, will the bank pay for you to take a taxi to the nearest branch today if you don’t have the means to get there? Can the bank perform the service you require over the phone straight away?
If the bank’s phone services are also down or phone lines are busy, try contacting your bank on social media to ask what to do. But don’t ever share your account details over social media.
It’s important to try your best to contact the bank and to get things resolved on the day, as this will show you took all reasonable steps to get things sorted.
But if you have no luck getting in touch with your bank and you’re not able to access your money, start gathering evidence for a complaint.
Make a note of who you speak to, the time and dates of the outages, and keep receipts if you have to travel to the bank - this log will help to support a complaint if you've been left out of pocket.
You should support your claim for compensation for losses with any evidence you have, such as copies of:
Complain to the bank and ask for compensation to cover the losses and ask them to take all steps to put the situation right.
In your complaint, make sure you include:
One of the big concerns about banking outages is how it might affect credit scores.
If you miss a bill payment, your credit score could go down. Alternatively, your bank may not report data to credit reference agencies during outages, but this means any steps you’re taking to improve your credit won’t be reflected in your score.
If you find incorrect information or missing data on your credit history, you should first contact the reference agency and ask for it to be corrected. They will liaise with your bank to source the correct information.
Contact the Financial Services Ombudsman (FOS) to complain if the bank does nothing to resolve the problem, as it can tell the bank to correct your credit score.
Contact the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) to complain if the credit reference agency does nothing to resolve the problem.
If you’re unhappy with how the bank dealt with your problem, you can contact the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS).
The FOS can usually get involved 15 days after you’ve raised your concerns with the bank – and sometimes even sooner.
The FOS has official powers to help customers solve problems with their banks when people can’t agree.
The FOS will look at the facts, ask questions and make a decision on the fairest course of action.
The FOS says you can claim for losses you incur in the event of a bank’s IT outage - but the success of any claim will depend on your own individual circumstances.
If the FOS agrees you lost out because of the bank, it can tell the bank to:
When there’s an online banking problem, fraudsters may pose as the bank, offering help to sort things out - in reality they’re trying to gain access to your account.
Some people have reported fraud on their accounts as a direct result of the IT problems. If you’re worried this has happened to you, take the following steps:
This is a new area of the law, so going to the small claims court should be a last resort.
If you don’t get a good result from the FOS, consider carefully whether the result would be different in the courts and why.
Make sure you seek legal help.