Tag Archives: RBS

Ulster Bank Aim to have Computer Glitch Fixed this Week

Around 600,000 customers of Ulster Bank have been unable to access their online accounts and see details of deposits and withdrawals for nearly a month due to a computer glitch. A statement has been published on their website claiming that they expect everything to be up and running this week. The statement read, “We expect that services should begin to return to normal from Monday July 16.”

The initial problem was first felt by customers of parent company RBS. This soon spread and affected customers of NatWest and eventually hit Ulster Bank customers. Although RBS managed to fix the problem within a matter of days, it has been a different story for Ulster Bank customers who are still experiencing problems.

Sammy Wilson, Northern Ireland’s finance minister stated that the main reason why it has taken so long to fix the problem was because they have the largest backlog of transactions to deal with as they had to wait for the problem to be fixed with RBS and then NatWest. Wilson stated, “Technically the problem started with RBS, then moved to NatWest, then moved to Ulster Bank. It had to be fixed in that sequence, but because Ulster Bank was at the very end, they had the biggest backlog of historic transactions and it’s really getting the historic transactions back on to the system which has caused the problem.”

To put the problem in perspective, football coach, Tim Wareing, who holds a business account with Ulster Bank, has had problems with cheques being paid out twice and he hasn’t been paid since June. Wareing claimed, “We’ve had cheques that have been paid out twice. They have since been corrected but in terms of my own salary, I haven’t been paid since the end of June.”

Stephen Cruise, a managing director at Ulster Bank has released a statement on their website. Cruise stated, “Firstly, I want to say sorry for the disruption this technical issue has caused. I wanted to record this message to make sure our customers know how we can help, and reassure you that all our staff are working hard to put this right. Thank you for your patience and understanding. We’ve already helped 120,000 customers, extended the opening hours of many branches, trebled our call centre staff, and we’re updating our website regularly. We made a promise that no customer would be left permanently out of pocket and we intend to keep that promise.”

This latest episode demonstrates that even the largest of companies are vulnerable to problems which can lead to disastrous consequences. The importance of having a full proof backup and disaster plan in place is only emphasised by this case as the length of time it has taken for the problems to be fixed, could well cost Ulster Bank thousands of pounds and a number of customers.

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.

Bank customers victims of data loss

Several customers of Tesco’s banking service have reacted angrily after they were informed that personal data relating to their accounts was lost in transit.

A total of 39 people have been affected by this data loss incident, with officials claiming that the data is irrecoverable. The affected parties were involved in a dispute with Tesco Bank in relation to credit card charges and financial details, home addresses and names have all been leaked as a result of the error.

Tesco Bank has not been willing to name the firm responsible for the loss, which happened when the letters were travelling between Glasgow and Manchester, but it’s been suggested that a contractor from Royal Bank of Scotland was the source of the letters.

The data loss was detected in June and Tesco informed the affected parties last month, sweetening the bitter pill by giving them free anti-fraud insurance for two years to prevent their details being used in a malicious manner by criminals.

Observers have criticised Tesco Bank and its partners for failing to properly protect personal details of a particularly sensitive nature and some believe that this data loss, although relatively small, is evidence of a wider lack of irresponsible behaviour within the financial sector.

A spokesperson for the organisation said that it is company policy to send any such correspondence via recorded delivery, but it is believed that in this case the details leaked out because they were sent by the Royal Mail’s standard service. The spokesperson went on to reassure current customers that the bank has tightened up its security across the board and contacted users to let them know of improvements and changes.

The spokesperson said that Tesco Bank would be ensuring all of its partners operate in a manner that complies with its own security regulations when it comes to dealing with sensitive customer data.

Tesco Bank had collected the financial details relating to the 39 customers making complaints from RBS just prior to the data loss because it had previously been a share holder and credit card service supplier backing up the retail brand’s banking venture.

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