Multiple RBS embarrassments destroy its reputation further

Business banking news review: week ending 5 Dec 2013

When it rains it pours for RBS: not one but two major fiascoes have sent the beleaguered bank scrambling to apologise and regroup.

Sometimes banks are so inept it would be funny if it weren’t for the impact this blatant incompetence has on its customers. Royal Bank of Scotland has definitely fallen into this category with not just one but two major cock-ups that have left customers fuming and earned the bank serious reprimands from official quarters as well.

First comes the revelation that RBS brought about its own demise when it came to Cyber Monday’s massive meltdown that locked out millions of its customers from their own money. Both RBS and NatWest customers found themselves unable to use online banking, make many credit card transactions, and use their debit cards for anything at all – and all on one of the busiest online shopping days of the year, no less.

Well, RBS bosses finally admitted that the whole thing was their fault. Investment in IT infrastructure has been shortchanged so much, bank officials said, that the complete meltdown could have been avoided if only enough money and time was invested in it prior to the complete failure. I’m not surprised, honestly – well I’m surprised that RBS actually admitted that it was their own damn fault for once – but poor customer service is exactly what I’ve come to expect from the bailed-out bank.

Meanwhile, when it comes to system failures, RBS has also had criticism leveled at it after it became apparentt hat one of its former junior cashiers was found to have been complicit in an attempt to steal some £2.5 million in customers’ funds. 24 year old Derek Annan was caught red handed collecting customer details on behalf of criminals as he otherwise worked as a mild-mannered cashier in two separate RBS branches.

As much as Annan had the book thrown at him, bank officials were held partly to blame as well since he was given access to their system in the first place. For pity’s sake, the man had his camera with him at his desk yet none of his supervisors at the bank even thought that something might be amiss. How blind could these RBS officials be? Perhaps blind enough to neglect to invest in proper IT infrastructure? Well you heard it here first, folks.

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