RBS Notifies British Regulators Over Consumer Payments Failure

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Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc has notified the U.K.’s markets watchdog about its latest payments glitch, seven months after it was fined for a computer failure.

The bank contacted the U.K.’s Financial Conduct Authority after 600,000 credit and direct debit transactions weren’t applied to customers’ accounts, said a spokesman for the watchdog in London. RBS said the error had been fixed and that it would update payments for affected customers by Saturday.

https://twitter.com/NatWest_Help/status/611061315365400576

RBS was fined 56 million pounds ($88 million) by the FCA and the Bank of England’s Prudential Regulation Authority in November for the 2012 collapse of its computer system that left millions of customers without access to their accounts for weeks. The bank, which is owned by the government, is spending 750 million pounds to improve its technology.

“These failures should concern both the conduct and prudential regulators,” Andrew Tyrie, a Conservative lawmaker and chairman of the U.K.’s Treasury Select Committee said in an e-mailed statement. “RBS is suggesting that the delayed payments will be processed ‘no later than Saturday.’ This looks unacceptable.”

Tyrie said he’ll write to RBS Chief Executive Officer Ross McEwan as well as the FCA and the PRA “to obtain reassurance” that the necessary steps to halt these failures are taken.

‘Flat Out’

RBS shares fell 0.4 percent to 348.90 pence at 3:53 p.m. in London. They have declined about 11 percent this year.

The bank said it’s “working to get this resolved as quickly as possible” and apologized to customers.

https://twitter.com/NatWest_Help/status/611129987836604416

“We will ensure no customers are left out of pocket as a result of this issue,” RBS said.

The error was the result of an “issue with our overnight process” that affected the lender’s RBS, NatWest and Ulster Bank consumer units, as well as the Coutts private bank. RBS said it’s working “flat out” to get payments updated.

“Many of the payments systems in our banks are ancient,” said Paul Thomalla, global head of corporate relations for ACI Worldwide, which sells payments software to banks. “They are creaking and breaking and are in urgent need of repair. This needs to be a wakeup call for the whole industry.”

RBS’s NatWest Help Twitter account said earlier on Wednesday that some customer payments were “missing.” A spokesman for the lender said later that payments “have not gone ‘missing,’ they have been delayed due to a technical issue which has now been fixed.”

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