Millions of Bank Customers Unable to Access Funds In Europe

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A minor “glitch” or a sign of things to come?

Branches of Royal Bank of Scotland will open on a Sunday for the first time this weekend as RBS Group struggles to deal with the aftermath of technical problems that have affected up to 12 million customers.

The taxpayer-owned group took the unprecedented step of extending the hours of more than 1,000 RBS and NatWest branches that normally open on a Saturday to 6pm, and opening them again tomorrow morning, as it faces an angry backlash from people unable to access accounts, withdraw wages or pay bills and mortgage payments.

Some customers said their home purchases or holiday plans had been plunged into chaos by the glitches, while others vowed to switch banking provider. Fears have been raised that thousands could be hit with penalty charges if their regular bill payments, such as for their mortgage, are affected. Consumer groups called on the banking behemoth to provide “appropriate compensation” to those customers who suffer as a consequence of the “failure”.

The difficulties, which have hit NatWest, RBS and Ulster Bank users, are entering their fifth day. RBS said the backlog had been caused by a “system outage” on Tuesday, and that it was “working around the clock” to resolve it.

It appears the difficulties have hit hardest at NatWest, which has more than 7.5m personal banking customers. RBS Group said it could not tell how many had been affected as it was not possible to know when they were expecting payments into their accounts.

However, the problem is not confined to RBS account holders. Some non-customers are suffering as their employers use the group, and have not received their salary payments. Customers of RBS Group’s banking transaction services include the Government Banking Service, which looks after the balances of hundreds of public sector organisations, from government departments through to executive agencies.

Customers have reported a plethora of problems. Account balances have not been updated properly, meaning credit and debit payments are not showing up as quickly as they should, although RBS said the money was “in the system”.

Via: The Scotsman

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