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.
Hi, we’re currently looking in to reports of issues with some of our services. We are working hard to fix this, thanks for your patience. LP
— Royal Bank (@RBS_Help) November 29, 2019
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.
Hi @NatWest_Help I am trying to log into online banking but getting service unavailable messages both online and on the app. what's going on?
— Sally Dickinson (@sallyrdickinson) November 29, 2019
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 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.