Natwest and RBS customers experience overcharging

It is everyone’s worse nightmare when it comes to banking – fraud and identity theft. Something I thought I had experienced first hand this morning on checking my account online. Upon querying a transaction where I had been over charged by £200.00, NatWest, part of the RBS group told me this wasn’t fraud but to ring 0845 366 0391 for more information.

An automated message stated, “We are currently experiencing a high volume of calls due to a processing error by the Bank of Scotland. If a transaction has been duplicated this will be automatically refunded. The Bank of Scotland have a recovery plan in place.”

I was promised a full refund for being charged twice for the same goods. Well its five days after the mistake and the recovery plan seems to be taking its time, as I am yet to receive any refund. Not convenient for myself, and one would guess thousands of other banking customers.

Upon looking further into the issue, it appears that similar problems have previously affected customers of Bank of Scotland who are now part of the Lloyds Banking Group. In 2009 shops across the UK received complaints from customers accusing them of being charged twice for the same transaction. The fault was located to electronic point of sale systems and their chip and pin cards.

It is very surprising to see that two different banking groups have experienced similar issues within a short space of time. In both instances it has led to money being incorrectly taken from customer accounts, and the timing of the latest problem comes at the point where many people’s finances are stretched to the limit after the Christmas and New Year period.

It is very possible that the mistake could also lead to people receiving bank charges for going overdrawn and have transactions refused due to insufficient funds. Whilst I am sure that the banks will eventually refund these it is an unnecessary hassle and customers should not have to chase for refunds.

Whilst mistakes can always happen, customers should have been notified rather than having the shock of finding out themselves, and it should not have taken over 5 days to resolve.

It does call into question what Backup, Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity solutions the banks have in place to enable them to recover from such incidents.

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