Royal Bank of Scotland's CEO, Stephen Hester, has confirmed that a software upgrade was responsible for nationwide computer problems that failed to update customers' accounts for the last seven days.
The software upgrade was corrected within a day but a backlog of accounts that were updating over the weekend and still were on Monday, have left millions of customers with no money transferring in or out of their accounts. Mr Hester told the BBC that the system was now working normally but it could take up to three days before backlogs update. The RBS boss said:
It shouldn't have happened and we are very sorry, there was a software change which didn't go right and although that itself was put right quickly, there then was a big backlog of things that had to be reprocessed in sequence, which is why on Thursday and Friday customers experienced difficulty which we are well on the way to fixing.
He was not forthcoming with any information about how much the bank itself would be out of pocket because of the fiasco. All overdraft fees and current account charges have promised to be waived by the bank. The bank also promised to keep 1,200 branches open from 8am to 6pm every day this week to help clear customers' backlogs, reports Sky News.
The RBS, NatWest and Ulster Banks have over 17.6 million customers UK-wide. Some customers have been suffering badly with mortgage payments missed, wages and direct debits not being transacted and inability to pay urgent bills, reports International Business Times.
One Watford-based businessman runs a payroll firm and has 1,000 clients still waiting to be paid. Ken Taylor said, "The reputational [sic] damage to my business will be immense."
Disabled Martin Reynolds, from Birmingham relies on on-line shopping from his local supermarket to feed himself but he has twice had to cancel online orders as there is no money moving in or out of his NatWest account.