The Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) group has said it may compensate customers who experienced disruption to their banking services overnight.

Customers at RBS, NatWest and Ulster Bank faced problems with online and phone banking, cash withdrawals and debit card payments at about 2200 GMT.

There were reports of some customers having their cards “swallowed” at cash points.

RBS said all services had returned to normal at 0100 GMT.

However, some customers said they still could not access their accounts.

Account holders wanting compensation are being asked to contact the bank. “We will look at it on a case-by-case basis,” said a spokesperson at the bank’s Edinburgh headquarters.


The bank, which has 25 million customers in the UK, has apologised to those affected.

Emily in Berkshire
“I was out with an old school friend. We’d had a lovely time and at 2130 it came to pay the bill. I handed over my card. It was declined twice.

The rude waiter asked if I had any money in my account because he said it didn’t look like I did!

So I ran up the road to a cash point but the machine spat out my card.

Then I phoned NatWest but I was cut off twice. The third time though I got through to a really nice person.

She said that NatWest were having problems. She assured me that I do have money in my account! Once the app starts working, she says, everything will work.

My friend paid the bill!”

“We are disappointed that our customers have faced disruption to banking services for a period yesterday evening, and apologise for that.”

The bank is insisting that all services are now back to normal, apart from some “isolated incidents.”

Earlier customers took to social networking sites to complain about the problems.

Stuart Keel said on Twitter: “No cards accepted, apps or online banking working across the country. I found out the hard way, declined in Asda!”

Previous incident

It is not the first time that RBS has experienced difficulties with its systems.

In June 2012, 16 million customers of RBS, NatWest and Ulster bank had difficulties with cash withdrawals, phone and online banking and debit cards, which the bank blamed on a software update.

So far RBS has not said why its systems failed again on Wednesday.

At the time of last year’s incident, Stephen Hester, the chief executive of RBS, said: “We have to learn lessons from what went wrong here and try to make (such failures) less likely in future.”

In total, £125m was paid out to customers in compensation last year, and branch opening hours were extended to help customers who experienced difficulties.

Any customers still experiencing difficulties are being asked to call 0845 7242424 if an RBS customer or 0845 7888 444 if a NatWest customer.


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