Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2010/02/26/natwest_rbs_system_lie_down/

NatWest suffers calamitous online banking breakdown

But flack insists system never actually died on arse

By Kelly Fiveash

Posted in CIO, 26th February 2010 14:03 GMT

NatWest customers struggled to access the company's online banking, ATMs, telephone and even branch systems in the past few hours, after it was hit by a unspecified "technical issue" this morning.

A spokeswoman at the firm denied that the bank's systems were hit by an outage, and insisted to The Register that NatWest had simply suffered "slow response times but it never went down".

We phoned NatWest's phone service, which seemed to suggest a different story.

"We are currently experiencing a technical issue," said a recorded message that added NatWest had marked the matter as "urgent" and hoped to "resolve it shortly".

When pressed on what had gone wrong, the NatWest spokeswoman told us: "I've been able to access my own account this morning."

Sadly, for many other NatWest customers, the banking system has done a pretty good job of flicking them the V-sign today.

The taxpayer-owned bank RBS owns NatWest, so maybe keeping its cash inaccessible is good for UK.plc in some strange way.

The Twitterati are out in force, meanwhile, with the site bristling with reports that show the level of feeling about NatWest's banking system on what is for many people pay day.

"Dear Natwest Online Banking, I don't mind the old design, or the fact it's a bit clunky. I do mind it NOT LOADING. Thanks, Caius," says one of the more polite posts.

There's plenty more complaints here, but according to the NatWest spokeswoman "there are no problems now at all, actually".

So that's alright then. ®