Customers of Natwest and RBS have been unable to access their online bank accounts via the official websites on Tuesday, after a post bank holiday outage has blighted the banking service.
The trouble began from 9am Tuesday, and the outage is still reportedly ongoing. The banks have confirmed they are aware on the issue via Twitter.
It should be noted that the problem seems to be limited to the websites only, and affected customers are being urged to use the mobile app to access their account or contact the banks directly if they need further assistance.
The website Downdetector first starting noting the problems with the Natwest website today. At 11am it received 740 outage reports.
“Same problem – had very limited access to Natwest business banking and bankline early this morning but now can not get access at all,” wrote Liz Johnson. “Thankfully we processed payroll last week for payments tomorrow but have other urgent payments to make so very frustrating. Just keep getting an error message saying bad gateway!”
“Our website is still unavailable and we’re working hard to fix it,” Natwest tweeted.
“You can use Online Banking or our mobile app,” it added. “Sorry if this is causing you problems – we’ll update you when we have more information.”
At least one security expert noted that in today’s ‘always on’ world, banks are under a great deal of pressure to ensure availability.
“In today’s global economy, “always on” literally means always transactional and from NatWest’s outage today it’s clear that the industry is feeling the pressure,” said Mick Bradley, VP EMEA at Arcserve.
“As banks undergo digital transformation, deploy newer technologies, and move further towards to online and app-based banking, they must make sure that their systems are ready when disaster strikes,” said Bradley. “If not, they risk upsetting customers (particularly those who turn to social media) which may result in reputational damage.”
“Banks need to turn to solutions which prevent IT disasters from occurring in the first place,” he added. “Real-time data replication ensures constant availability of data due to its ability to rewind back to a point in time before an outage or an unplanned event. This removes the need to recover in the first place – so banks can always deliver on the service their customers expect.”
In 2017 for example, thousands of Natwest customers complained that payments were leaving their account but not appearing on the balance of the recipient. Some complained that even moving money from a savings account to a current account was causing problems.
Natwest pledged at the time that no one would be left out of pocket.
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