NatWest debacle drags on as CEO weathers the storm

The NatWest IT debacle has dragged on into its sixth day, leading to the chief executive of RBS, the bank’s parent company, to weather a storm of criticism and abuse.

RBS chief, Stephen Hester, has essentially given up his claim on any sort of yearly bonus after a massive problem with RBS-owned NatWest has prevented customers from accessing the cash in their current accounts, preventing direct deposits and standing orders from taking place, and just generally making it impossible to conduct business for the bank’s 7 million customers. Lib Dem Lord Oakeshott spoke out on the banking disaster, stating that RBS has failed in its responsibilities to both keep customers’ cash safe and return it to them when asked for.

Stephen Hester should not receive any bonus this year as a result of his bank’s miserable failures, Lord Oakeshott said, comparing the NatWest fiasco to a water company turning off the taps of their customers for an entire week. ┬áThe computer problem, which was precipitated by a faulty software update early last week, has locked out many customers, preventing them from managing their financial affairs, but Mr Hester recently said that the end of the issue was in sight – yet independent reports confirm that nearly every NatWest branch has been extending their opening hours in an effort to cope with the eye watering transaction backlog, even as the RBS chief executive assured the media that NatWest is ‘well on the road to recovery’ from the massive computer glitch.

When asked if he was considering his role as chief executive for the banking group, Mr Hester simply responded that the priority right now was to resolve the issue as quickly as possible, leaving off accountability until after the dust has settled.

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