RAPID responses

A perfect IT storm

[Re: Customers should vote with their feet to punish bad service, yesterday]

NatWest has blamed a failed IT upgrade for upending its systems and leaving customers inconvenienced and angry. Many will complain about a failure to reward IT staff, inappropriate offshoring or a lack of concern for customer service. But what will we do about it? British savers can move accounts, of course. But we’ll all have to pay for NatWest’s IT debacle through our ownership, as taxpayers, of RBS. Perhaps this is a single, solvable IT problem. But it highlights a wider issue – that our banks are not nimble in the face of crisis, and consumers are prevented by the system from punishing them for their sloth.

Paul Koslow


Conserve to grow

[Re: Brics defended us from anti-growth greens at Rio+20, yesterday]

Alan Oxley says that “today’s reality” is that “environmental protection must not be at the cost of growth.” This is a short-sighted and dangerous distinction. To grow, the world needs raw materials like hardwoods, oil and minerals – and these are finite. Our energy needs are predicted to grow by 50 per cent by 2035, and water demand by 50 per cent by 2050. So unless we work to protect the bare essentials, there will be little business to be done, and what there is will be unfair and unsustainable. That is today’s reality, and business leaders and governments must address it today.

Fiona Napier, associate director at Global Witness


Top tweets

Customer service is a serious issue in the UK, from banks to retailers. Businesses must do more to build relationships with customers.

Believe it or not, alcohol and bikinis don’t figure in the top 10 worries of the Arab people. We should talk about jobs.

So RBS, how is nationalisation working out for you? Happier customers?

Now England is out of UEFA 2012, we can focus on other aspects of British summer. Like disappointment at Wimbledon.