Belfast Telegraph

Accounts 'empty' as internet failure rocks Nationwide

vicky shaw bustel@belfasttelegraph.co.uk

The UK's biggest building society has been hit by an IT failure which meant online customers were blocked from their accounts or wrongly told they were empty.

The problems affected Nationwide customers logging in to see their current and savings account balances from around 8am yesterday, and lasted for about an hour.

Nationwide, whose advertising slogan is "On your side", said the hitch has been fixed and apologised to customers.

Consumers vented their annoyance as many people need to check their wages are being paid in at this time of the month.

One Twitter user said: "Tried to log into online banking this morning to get told 'it doesn't look like you have an account with us'."

Another wrote: "Seems I'm not the only one who happens to have lost their Nationwide accounts this morning online."

Nationwide posted an apology to customers on Twitter, saying: "Some customers were unable to access accounts due to a technical fault. This has been fixed and we apologise for inconvenience."

A spokesman for the building society could not give a figure for how many customers were affected but said it was a relatively small number.

On Wednesday, the building society reported a 79% week-on-week uplift in the number of people initiating a switch of their current account to the building society following the introduction of a new industry-wide guarantee earlier this month to take the hassle out of changing providers.

Nationwide has said the recent jump it has seen in people looking to switch to it follows a strong period of growth in its market share of current accounts in recent years, which coincided with major scandals involving big banks.

The building society suffered a similar technical problem in April, when customers were locked out of their online accounts. Last year, some Nationwide customers saw debit card payments taken from their accounts twice. These mistakes were later corrected.

Lloyds Banking Group also had technical problems earlier this month, which to its embarrassment were on the first day its new TSB branches launch.

Meanwhile, The Bank of England has activated back-up procedures to keep critical payment settlement services running after it suffered IT problems.

It led to the bank issuing a brief statement saying: "The bank has been experiencing some technical IT problems today. The bank is acting to resolve these problems as soon as possible."

A source said that "procedures in place for this sort of eventuality are now operating".

The bank's website underlines the importance of the system, stating: "As the final record of sterling interbank transfers, the resilience of the RTGS system is paramount."

8am

The time Nationwide customers noticed the internet problems

Belfast Telegraph

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