Bank error adds millions to customers' card bills

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The Independent Online
A WOMAN'S grocery bill query uncovered a bank error which led to millions of pounds being wrongly clocked up on the electronic debit card accounts of up to 60,000 people.

The woman, from Hurworth near Darlington, Co Durham, noticed that a pounds 30 food bill appeared twice on her statement and was told it was an error by NatWest, which processed the payment card.

Yesterday, NatWest admitted that as a result of 'human error' a programme containing details of all Visa card transactions made between the NatWest and other banks and building societies on 26 May had gone through its computer on two successive days. It is likely that every bill sent out by the bank on that day will contain repeated debits.

Apologising to customers for the mistake, a spokesman said it was difficult to know how many accounts were affected, but it could be 60,000, drawn from all the banks and building societies.

'It was put right immediately and the majority of customers won't actually know there has been a problem,' he said. No customer would lose money as a result of the slip-up. Some customers had already received their statements, he added.