Social Media

Natwest Online Banking Fail

UPDATE – If you are looking for information on the current NatWest banking issues, I am afraid I can’t help. This post was written two years ago. Shame that NatWest still haven’t gotten to grips with the IT issues. 



“If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it does it make a sound”

If a bank suffers from a massive IT failure and no one tweets about it, would we have heard about it?



This is something that I was wondering earlier. If the massive failure of the online and telephone banking systems that has befallen Natwest and RBS over the past 2 days had happened before the advent of Twitter, would we have even heard about it?

According to The Register customers logging on to their online banking services have been greeted with the following message:

We’re sorry our Digital, Mobile and Telephone Banking services are currently unavailable. We’re working hard to get them back up and running as soon as possible.

We would like to apologise for any inconvenience caused.


Sky News have just posted:

RBS and Natwest have told Sky News they are “working hard” to resolve today’s issue.

The two banks said there should not be any problem with taking money out of cashpoints or branches – but balances have not updated overnight and payments have not gone through.

Daily withdrawal limits have not been updated either, so if you withdrew your limit on Friday, you will not be able to withdraw any cash today.


There is very little information out there for customers. RBS website has no info that I can find. And this should be on the first page. NatWest also has no information, but does advertise with the slogan, “Isn’t it time you switched to a more helpful bank?”

Irate customers are turning to Twitter for information. The #natwest hashtag search column is filled with people complaining about having no access to their money. Some have been left without cash for the weekend. There are tweets like these


just been told by #natwest they know nothing ring back at 4.30,no money no food for kids tea,natwest don’t care!!!!!!!!!!

Thing is, if I owed #Natwest  money I’d be charged for every day I owed it. £30 out of the till isn’t going to cover this.

#Natwest update – still no working system & the branch is now closed. Manager gave me £30 as goodwill gesture.

Dear Natwest, before your maintenance i had £903,702 as my balance, now its only £30.Could you put those numbers back in my account #natwest

just tried #Natwest card in post office machine and it swallowed my money! Can’t even ring up to complain!

#Natwest. Now would be a really good time to get on Twitter and reassure and interact with your customers. Ex-customers soon I expect

#NatWest #rbs problem is balances didn’t update overnight. Any money paid in o/night won’t register on the account so you can’t withdraw it


RBS MediaTeam just tweeted this


RBS_MediaTeam RBS Media Team

Very sorry for problems today. We’re still working hard to fix them and will update again as soon as we have more info #natwest #rbs


Which is not really a lot of help to those who are left without cash at the weekend, when the branches are closed.

How about doing something really radical, like opening the branches on a Saturday, and calling in extra staff? So that people can go into a bank and at least get some cash out. Which won’t help those who want to pay their bills, but at least no one will have to go hungry.

A large part of the ire is due to the lack of communication. Let your customers know when you will have things back up and running. Tell  the truth. If you don’t know then tell them that they can go into a branch and get some cash out in the old fashioned way.

It is the nightmare of every company who does business online – how they deal with it is makes the difference between losing customers and keeping them.



Have you been affected by the problems? What information have you found and where did you find it? Were you able to take money out of cash machines or at the branch?


  • Granny

    Just as well you keep up the blog writing. I did not know that RBS on-line banking is not working. Luckily I got cash from the machine and my bills are paid up to date so not affecting me at the moment.

    • mmelindor

      I expect that they will have it fixed soon. If not, check the ironing basket. Sometimes there is a fiver at the bottom of it

  • Becky

    Oh dear, I’m with Natwest though it’s a secondary account and I don’t need to use it often. Did make a purchase yesterday though, so was lucky I did it in time!

    • mmelindor

      Do you ever get through to anyone with that email address? Am laughing a lot at it. Glad that you didn’t have any bother with Natwest today.

  • Richard Berelson

    I’m abroad in Spain at the moment. Really stuffed as I’m relying on my NatWest debit card to use directly or to draw cash from a cashpoint for the weekend. The internet banking access just came back online again but not updated since Friday (when my pay went in to a NatWest bank in cash but isn’t showing yet). Great, innit?

  • Christine

    Funny, just found this on twitter. Was meant to get pay today. Also meant to go food shopping and buy electricity. Neither I can do. I am using the emergency credit on my key meter. I have heard it could take 24 hours to be up and running. This isn’t the first time Natwest has left me without money for basics over weekend. Due to them taking three quarter of my weekly income in form of bank charges. Then did nothing about it when I pointed out the fact they taken my weekly income until the following Monday. Make matters worse I am disabled.

    I wonder how many customer Natwest will lose over this? I wonder what RBS/Natwest will do in form of compensation to affected customers?

    • mmelindor

      That is truly shocking, Christine. The bank charges system in UK is ridiculous. My husband worked in banking in Germany for years and was astounded at the charges in UK. The banks do not do this in other EU countries, just where they can get away with it. Penalising those who are most in need of help.

      • Christine

        I put in a formal complaint against Natwest regards bank charges. That was an amusing to try get onto their complaint department via phone. Hopefully something be sorted out otherwise I am taken it to Financial Ombudsman. The joke is I have been a customer of Natwest for over 12 years.

        Just e-mail Natwest to ask when the online banking will be up and running. I also warned that Natwest would lose customers over this (Given what I have read on twitter). Will they be offering compensation for those who have affected by this? Will post back on what they say.

  • Robert Jordan

    I am trying to run a business. To be efficient we have made everything payments and receipts on line. How are we supposed to carry on with breakdowns in the banks system.

    Nat West IT are a joke, you cant even phone their On Line system as the lines have been removed, in view of all these faults in a way I cant blame them, but that is not the way to run a business.

    I may have to consider moving banks despite having been with them for nearly 40 years.

    • Lynn C Schreiber

      I think that people are willing to make allowances once, but when it happens regularly, then patience wears thin.

      I can always tell when Natwest is down, because my blog gets lots of hits from irate customers looking for information.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *