On the busiest day of the year for online shopping thousands of NatWest and Royal Bank of Scotland customers were unable to use their debit cards due to "technical issues".
Cyber Monday – which was touted as being the biggest online shopping day in history due to all the cut price deals on offer ahead of Christmas – happened yesterday. Yet many of NatWest and RBS customers found that between 6pm and 9:30pm last night they were unable to log into their online banking, withdraw money from ATMs or use their debit cards to pay for goods, both online and in shops.
This isn't the first time this has happened either. In June and July last year an IT fault lasting for days locked thousands of RBS, NatWest and Ulster Bank customers out of their accounts.
Following that incident, RBS said it had improved its system, but the latest fault might indicate that the bank just hasn't done enough.
RBS and NatWest are not yet sure what exactly led to the latest failure, but have moved to reassure customers that they will be compensated if they were left "out of pocket" by the problems.
Speaking to the BBC this morning, Susan Allen, RBS's director of customer relations, said the bank was "deeply sorry for the inconvenience".
"We've really caused problems. It is completely unacceptable that customers couldn't access their own money," she added.
Ms Allen went on to say that all customers who'd lost money because of the fault, such as missed payments or direct debits, would be fully compensated, and should contact their respective bank or visit a local branch in order to arrange this.
But when asked by the BBC whether customers who'd lost out on online shopping deals on Cyber Monday because their payments were declined would be compensated, Ms Allen was less sure, saying that the bank would look at problems on a case-by-case basis and customers should again contact their bank.
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