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November 29, 2019

Natwest, RBS Facing Black Friday IT Wobbles as Services Go Down

"We are working hard to fix this"

By CBR Staff Writer

Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) and Natwest are both facing IT issues this morning with thousands of customers understood to be unable to access their online bank accounts as Black Friday sales kicked off in earnest.

RBS down: the bank acknowledged “issues with some of our services” with Natwest also saying it was looking into the issue, as customers lined up on social channels to complain about the service online. (Both are owned by The Royal Bank of Scotland Group, as is Ulster Bank.)

The outage is one of the latest glitches to plague its infrastructure; customers also faced back-to-back outages in August.

The UK’s retail banks have been castigated by policy makers for persistent technical issues in recent months, with Parliament’s Treasury Committee saying last month that “firms are not doing enough to mitigate the operational risks that they face from their own legacy technology”, highlighting bungled change management as a leading cause of recent outages.

Read this: Give Financial Services “Sharper Teeth” Over IT Outages: Treasury Committee

Businesses may be cutting corners to reduce change management cost, the committee warned: “Poor change management is one of the primary causes of IT failures… It is important that firms have strong and well- rehearsed change management procedures. We are concerned that time and cost pressures may cause firms to cut corners when implementing change programmes, for example by compressing testing schedules.”

RBS down

RBS said in its 2018 annual report that it is “investing in innovation, with
£1 billion committed to invest in 2019 aimed at improving legacy systems
and delivering better solutions for customers.”

Computer Business Review has contacted both banks for comment.

Read this: The TSB IT Meltdown: 5 Key Takeaways from Slaughter and May’s Damning Report

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