NOT being able to access your cash during a banking web outage can leave you in the lurch.
Hundreds of customers reported problems accessing the NatWest website and mobile app on August 20 due to a Sky internet issue.
How can I check if NatWest or RBS is down?
Both NatWest and RBS are part of the NatWest Banking Group but they have their own separate online, telephone and app banking services.
You can check the status of NatWest's mobile banking, online banking and websites using its service status webpage.
There is a similar service status web page for RBS.
Social media can also be a good place to look, and each bank has its own pages.
And a website called Downdetector highlights outages for both NatWest and RBS.
On August 20, hundreds of people reported problems to the website.
It is understood it is an outage with Sky, causing some customers problems accessing their accounts.
What should I do if I can't access my money online?
NatWest and RBS customers can contact the banks in a number of ways and can usually access cash though branches, ATMs or via the phone if the banks are experiencing online problems.
You can find your nearest NatWest branch using its branch finder tool, while RBS also a branch locator tool.
There are also mobile branches and community bankers that may be able to visit you. Find out more about these services from NatWest and RBS.
Telephone banking may be an easier and quicker option than heading to a branch, though you may have to set it up if you haven't used it before.
It's also worth talking to the banks' customer services about your options, especially if you have an urgent matter.
You can find contact numbers and other ways to get help from NatWest and RBS on their websites.
Can I claim compensation if the website is down?
There's no right to fixed compensation because of a service failure with online banking or mobile app banking.
But you could get money back in some circumstances, depending on how an outage has affected you.
It is worth gathering evidence of your problems so you can make a formal complaint to NatWest or RBS directly.
Try to make a note of when you were unable to access the website or app, plus any costs you incurred as a result.
If your credit rating has been affected by a service outage, because you got a late payment fee after being unable to make a transaction, for example, you should also keep a record of this.
If you spoke to anyone to try and resolve the problem, make a note of their name and when you spoke to them, as well as roughly what you discussed and what they advised you to do.
You can make a complaint to NatWest or RBS in a branch or online. Here's how to do it at NatWest and at RBS.
Think about how much you expect to be compensated, and when you expect to receive it and include it in your complaint.
What to do if you can’t access your money
IF you can’t access your money and you need to urgently, here’s what to do:
- Visit your local branch as soon as you can.
- If you can't get there, or it is closed, call your bank and ask for its guidance on what to do.
- If the bank’s phone services are also down or busy, try contacting your bank on social media to ask what to do. But remember: don’t ever share your account details over social media.
- Try to do this on the day the problem arises so you can show you made every attempt to solve the issue.
- If you still can't access your money, begin gathering evidence for a complaint.
What happens if NatWest or RBS refuses to compensate me?
If you're unhappy with how your complaint has been handled, the outcome, or if the banks don't respond within eight weeks you can escalate it to the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) for free.
Typically, complaints are made to the FOS when a customer has experienced one of the following:
- a charge for late or missed payments (for example, your credit card bill was late being paid because you could access your account and that incurred a fee)
- another financial loss as a result of the service disruption (for example, loss of interest if money couldn't be transferred to a savings account)
- extra costs (for example train fares for visiting a branch)
- a loss that isn't financial (for example, inconvenience)
- there has been fraud as a result of the IT problems
The FOS will look at each case raised with and if it agrees the bank has done something wrong, it can tell it to put things right.
Depending on the circumstances and how you've been affected this could be compensation or a correction to your credit file.
Find out more about how to complain to the FOS.
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