Customers vent fury on firm’s Ideas Bank site

Ben Southwood
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NATWEST’S “Ideas Bank” page for customer interaction has been flooded with complaints, exposing fury and distress among holders of RBS group accounts.

Users of the bank’s web-site have made popular posts demanding chief executive Stephen Hester’s resignation. They have also sought compensation beyond what has been promised, and have blamed the group’s IT policy.

Perhaps even more common than these are stories detailing life without bank access, including children’s birthday parties without cakes and jobs in jeopardy for lack of transport. The general story is one of extreme displeasure, but there are isolated comments, especially more recently, expressing sympathy for Natwest.

The branch staff have been generally praised for their hard work and commitment. And yesterday evening, as customers began gaining access to their accounts and seeing transactions go through successfully, the mood mellowed.

With the remaining niggles yesterday, it will have been over four days since a software update brought the group’s IT systems down, and two days since the problem was “identified and corrected.”

Since Saturday, the main issue has been bringing the internet banking backlog up to date.

Susan Allen, director of customer services for the RBS Group, warned yesterday that there will be “bumps in the road” in “clearing the backlog of payments”. She said she can “confirm that we have started the process of putting things right for our customers.”

NatWest’s ideas bank was set for small business customers to share ideas but since Thursday it has hosted many complaints.

Some customers complained about a lack of information or a lack of the right information at the very least.

Others considered today’s extended opening hours as a sign of more bad news to come, after hearing that RBS branches will be open from 7am.

The main complaint seemed to be yet more frustration about the lack of information. “Lack of information just creates speculation.”