/ Money

Has NatWest’s glitch sent your bank account into meltdown?

Have you been affected by NatWest’s banking blip? What may be a ‘technical’ issue for NatWest has resulted in some seriously unhappy customers. Here’s your feedback and our advice on getting money back.

You’re a NatWest customer. You log on to check your balance. The figure is not what you expect and some of your bills haven’t been paid.

Unfortunately this is a familiar scene for around 12 million customers who were affected by NatWest’s ‘IT error’ last week, the consequences of which are continuing to have a knock on effect to customers’ bank accounts.

The lowdown on Twitter

We were keen to gauge the impact this has had on NatWest customers’ finances. A number of people responded to @WhichMoney’s Twitter account shout-out for feedback. Craig Hulland said, ‘I have no wages paid despite saying the problem is fixed.’

And Chris Jarret had even bigger problems on his hands:

‘Due to NatWest technical issue, I’m currently homeless. My house purchase failed to complete. I’ll be switching bank ASAP.’

What is NatWest doing to help?

NatWest has published some advice on its website confirming what it’ll do to help customers in this situation.

But it’s not just your bank account that may feel the consequences of this error. It’s likely that if you’ve been affected, you’ve spent time and money trying to get your finances fixed. We’ve prepared some tips to help make sure you get back what you’re owed.

1. Lodge a formal complaint with NatWest as soon as possible

Let NatWest know that you have been affected and give it a detailed account of any costs that you have incurred and payments that have been missed both to and from your account and the impact on you for any distress and inconvenience.

2. Document everything

Keep a detailed log of losses including interest incurred on missed payments and other penalties, phone charges and any account activity that has or should have taken place (including rent or mortgage payments, credit card and bill payments and wages).

3. Eight weeks and counting

The bank has up to eight weeks to resolve your complaint. If it has not done so by that time or you’re not satisfied with the response, you can take your complaint to the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS).

The error is the type of IT failure you might expect (or accept) from a very small company. But a big bank like NatWest? Our executive director, Richard Lloyd, has warned:

‘NatWest should compensate everyone who’s been affected and is out of pocket, no questions.’

We’re worried about how robust other banks’ IT systems are and we want the financial regulator to urgently examine the systems and control to find out the cause of the problem.

Have you been affected by NatWest’s error? Are you keeping track of all the phone calls and other outlays you may have put out in order to get your finances back on track?


I wrote the above as a jokey illustration of concerted actions customers can take but the best one would a mass account transfer……?

Let down yet AGAIN says:
1 September 2012

I had a letter from NatWest stating that I would recieve a refund by 31st August as a direct result of their “Recent Technical Issues”. It hasn’t been paid to me. I’ve checked and double checked my accounts from May, nothing at all from NatWest has been paid to me. What do I do now? I have emailed their complaints centre but this is more time waiting for a reply. I was relying on that refund.

Let down yet AGAIN says:
1 September 2012

*Wanted to make clear I have been checking back my accounts statements from May to current date*

Furious says:
25 November 2012

hi, i was wondering if you could help me, my card was 13 pounds over draft for about a month due to a direct debit i had set up and forgotten about as I started using another card, ive never arranged to have an overdraft with the bank yet they set it up anyway. i was sent a new card without asking for it and them a couple of weeks later i discovered the overdraft. i was transferred a lump sum and the bank took half as ‘unarranged od fee’ and then took the rest. i then cashed in a bigger lump sum and more money was taken out of my account under ‘unarranged od fee’ when my account was never on overdraft. i am fuming and plan to close my account after my funds are returned to me. to add ontop of these issues at the time the money was transferred to me I was homeless and in debt and the bank took my money. please help!!

Barbora says:
18 January 2013

I recieved letter from cap Quest that I own almost 700 pounds to Natwest. It happened 3 years ago, when I went to ovedrawn by mistake one of the cashier, that set my standing order for my rent in January 2 times instead of one time. I went almost 800 pounds overdrawn, my letting agency couldnt chace the money for me in few days and decided to not to let me pay next month rent (as it was actually paid ‘thanks’ to the cashiers’ mistake) I didn’t have money to pay my overdrawn, and interest vere risig very very quickly.I went to complain.. bank said it wasn’t their fault. I spoke to the manager and she promised me to write a complaint for me. I still payd to bring my account to zero. In 3 months time I had to move out of country.. I was in the bank more often than at home, i was going there almost every day, to get some results before I left. the manager promised me to get in touch with me and let me know how it finished with my complaint… nobody ever contacted my via phone or email. I called, but nobody was able to tell me anything. my internet banking got blocked after some time and I couldn’t check my balance. At that point I thought that everything went well and my account has been closed with no overdrawn.. And when I moved to london again I found I was taken to this company of lawyers of what is it?! And that Natwest wants a money from me for their mistake.. Any suggestions? Im stressed and deeply disappionted. I went to the branch today again and guess what, they closed 2 hours before their closing time..really upset me!!! even though I called and nobody informed me about closer.. For someone it seem nothing, but trust me when you earn only 1000 pounds a month it will be a fortune for you. Please help me anyone!!!

Luke says:
28 January 2014


I was looking to take over a bakery a few years ago.I had half the funds set up ready to get 50% from bank. I had a business plan, very good one I might add, business manager said I needed to open business account for him to see I was serious, I done this. They sent my business stuff to the business I was looking to buy on the qt! Ii sat with business manager went through my plan,got refused loan. I had subsequently fallen behind on my mortgage and tried to talk with staff in branch and on the phone. They told me I needed to contact business manager(he was never contactable) my mortgage fell behind 3 months in a row because they kept taking dd and missed payment and unarranged od fees, I am in debt to the tune of £12,000 now due to giving up on them and abandoning the accounts. I had to go to the courts because I was stuck in a rut not getting hold of business mnanager they took my house to court. I now have the worst credit file i could imagine, all because once you sign upti a business manager who is uncontactable there is no one you can talk to about your personal accounts. The stress it caused cost me my job at thr time, and grief I’ve had from countless bailiffs due to not being able to meet my payments on dd’s. I tried to fight my corner but the management deemed it my fault for not contacting them but I did several times. I don’t no what to do as I’m sure it was there negligence. I stormed in the bank screaming and shouting to see bank manager to shut my account which worked rather well I thought 🙂

Peter says:
20 June 2015

I got hit by the glich as well. My tax credits did not turn up, but after news from natwest that they won’t leave anyone without money i went to kidderminster branch and withdrawn 90£.Unnfortunatly no one told me it will take my account into unarranged overdraft, so today i recived letter from natwest that I’m going to be charged 6£ for it! Thats just a theft! they lost Our money for 3 days and now going to charge for it and make money out of it!
Can anyone knows where i could report or seek advice in this situation because I won’t be leaving it alone, should never happen in the first place

Peter, I suggest you just reply to Natwest about the circumstances that gave rise to your overdraft and they should remove the charge.