NatWest/RBS have suffered a 'system error' over the last 6 days which has cause problems for millions of its customers. Here are some details of what happened and what you can do if you have been affected.
So what actually happened?
NatWest/RBS ran a software update last Tuesday evening that went badly wrong. The problem was quickly identified and rectified, but it appears that the bank's contingency plan (if they actually had one!) was badly lacking resulting in days of work to manually rectify all the problems.
As a result some customers payments were not made and salaries were not credited to accounts,there were also issues with some customers not able to access cash through ATMs.
How do I know if I've been affected?
If you were due a payment into your bank or had some direct debits due for payment since last Tuesday (19th) then it's worth checking your account to see if these transactions have been processed.
You should still be able to access your account online - I have managed to access my account today both on my laptop and using the iPhone app - to check the activity over the last week.
What should I do if I have been affected?
The best thing to do is compare last months transactions with this months transactions to ascertain whether there are any receipts or payments missing. If there are some discrepancies then you should make a list of these and contact your bank. You should also contact anyone to whom you should have made a payment, but it wasn't processed, don't leave it to sort itself out as it may create a problem with next month's payment.
Also include on your list any costs involved in contacting companies regarding payments or receipts (phone calls, postage etc.) you can then make a claim for reimbursement from NatWest/RBS. (Here is a link to the online NatWest claim form - scroll down to the bottom dropdown menu)
Make sure you get some cash?
Until this problem is fully resolved don't leave yourself short of cash. NatWest/RBS branches are opening longer hours to deal with customer problems if you are having issues with ATMs.
I would make sure you get enough cash to last you for a weeks basic needs just in case.
With the end of the month approaching, when most salaries and direct debits are paid, it may be a good idea to arrange an overdraft. This will make sure all your bills are paid if there is a problem with your salary payment.
Will my credit rating be affected if payments are missed?
NatWest/RBS have promised to work directly with credit agencies to make sure nobody has their credit score affected. However, it may be a good idea to access your own credit report in a few weeks time to make sure all is ok. There are many sites that offer a 30- day trial where you can access your report for free.
For the latest from NatWest/RBS check their website - RBS Group update