RBS glitch needs full investigation, says King

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The Independent Online

Bank bosses should face a "detailed investigation" into the computer meltdown that left thousands of customers unable to access their cash, Sir Mervyn King said yesterday.

The Bank of England Governor's comments came the Financial Ombudsman Service warned that holders of Royal Bank of Scotland and NatWest accounts faced weeks of turmoil stemming from the chaos. A computer software upgrade at RBS failed last week, disrupting many payments into and out of accounts.

Internet fraudsters tried to cash in on the confusion yesterday by launching a "phishing" attack on NatWest clients, in an attempt to steal their personal financial data.And the pain continued for 100,000 Ulster Bank customers who were told they must wait days to have their banking facilities restored.

A spokesman for Royal Bank of Scotland Group, which controls all three beleaguered lenders, said last night that 99 per cent of RBS and NatWest accounts had been brought up to date. But Ulster Bank customers will "continue to experience unacceptable delays … until the start of next week".

The glitch that hit an estimated 12 million people could cause problems for weeks. The Financial Services Authority refused to rule out enforcement action, such as a fine. It said: "We expect RBS-NatWest to provide us with a complete account of the issues once this is fully resolved, and to take any necessary steps to ensure the risks of these problems occurring again are addressed."

Criminals have sent bogus emails purporting to be from RBS's boss, Stephen Hester. They ask customers to click on a link to a realistic-looking NatWest website and update their details, but anyone doing so may have their personal information stolen and used by fraudsters.

RBS has cancelled its corporate hospitality at Wimbledon in the wake of the IT meltdown. The bank said it would be "inappropriate" to continue providing the entertainment.