Interactive Investor

RBS, NatWest and Ulster Bank hit by mobile and online banking outage

21st September 2018 11:07

Stephen Little from interactive investor


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Royal Bank of Scotland says it has resolved the issues that left NatWest, RBS and Ulster Bank customers locked out of their mobile and online accounts after banking services went down this morning.

RBS has apologised for the disruption and confirmed that all three of its brands - RBS, NatWest and Ulster Bank – had been hit by the outage. ATMs and the telephone banking service were unaffected.

It is understood that the cause of the outage was due to a firewall upgrade which took place overnight. This latest failure comes after Natwest customers reported widespread debit card payment failures on 2 August. 

  • RBS voted least trusted banking provider in Moneywise Customer Service Awards 2018

In a statement RBS says: “We would like to apologise to customers who experienced issues logging into their online and mobile banking accounts this morning, this issue has now been resolved.”

  • RBS chief executive questioned over branch closures

Hannah Maundrell, editor in chief at, says: "Banks really need to pull their socks up because this keeps happening. It’s really not good enough when so many customers are being encouraged to bank online. If you’re worried about any of your payments speak to NatWest ASAP."

Twitter uses reported early on Friday morning they were unable to access their mobile and online accounts, with many hitting out at the banks.

The outage comes after string of IT failures from banks which have left millions of customers unable to access their accounts.

On Thursday, Barclays customers were also left unable to log in to their accounts after a technical problem which lasted up to six hours. Barclays says it has since fixed the issue.

In April, 1.9 million TSB customers were locked out of its online service and banking app after an attempt to migrate customers to a new computer system was unsuccessful.

Nicky Morgan MP, chair of the Treasury Committee, says: “It simply isn’t good enough to expose customers to IT failures, including delays in paying bills and an inability to access their own money.

“High street banks justify the closure of their branch networks on the basis that they are providing a seamless online and mobile phone banking service. These justifications carry little weight if their banking apps and websites cannot be relied upon."

She adds: “The Bank of England has recently announced it will begin to run IT stress tests on banks. These can’t come soon enough.”

Read more: TSB chief executive quits following string of IT meltdowns

This article was originally published in our sister magazine Moneywise, which ceased publication in August 2020.

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