Account holders affected by the glitch in NatWest and RBS’s banking systems should be able to reclaim any late payment fees they may have incurred.
Problems with the banks’ payment processing systems meant scheduled transactions did not take place, affecting credits and debits to and from customers’ accounts.
The system was restored relatively quickly, although the backlog of payments took some time to clear, meaning many accountholders may have missed deadlines, and incurred penalties as a result.
RBS and NatWest put out statements on their websites and social media platforms promising that accountholders will not be left out of pocket as a result of the glitch.
“We can confirm that the issues our customers were experiencing in relation to delayed credits and debits have now been resolved, and accounts have been updated,” the banks said.
“We’re extremely sorry for the disruption and inconvenience this may have caused. We will continue to work to ensure no customer will be left out of pocket as a result of this issue.”
What happens next?
The promise to repay late payment fees incurred by accountholders may be an oversimplification of the issue, as anyone who has incurred such penalties is likely to now have a black mark on their credit history.
On the one hand, this is an important part of the debt recovery process, highlighting poor payment practices so future potential creditors have a warning against lending to an individual.
But for those affected by the disruption, it means there is more than just an immediate financial implication to consider.
In April, credit information provider Equifax explained the impact of late payments:
“Many people may not realise that a missed payment on a utility bill or mobile phone agreement could have a negative impact on their credit report,” said Laura Barrett of Equifax Consumer Affairs.
“If an individual has missed or made a late payment on a credit or service agreement then prospective lenders could see this and take it into account during the application process.
“This doesn’t necessarily mean they won’t get the credit deal they want, especially if there is evidence of them resolving any financial difficulties; however, it may be more difficult than if their previous finances were all in order.”
One option is to add a notice of correction to your credit history, using an online platform to do so, but again this is not a cure-all solution.
Future applications for credit may take longer to process if the note has to be read manually by a human, rather than a clean credit history processed by computer.
Therefore, the best solution for anyone affected by late payments that were not their fault is to contact the relevant creditor to explain the situation, and ensure any black marks are removed from your credit history completely.
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