NatWest and RBS customers have been left frustrated and unable to use their debit and credit card this following the third IT glitch the banks have suffered in 18 months.

Earlier today we asked our users on our forum, Twitter and Facebook what questions they'd like us to ask RBS after customers were left unable to pay for purchases, use cash machines or access internet banking.

Some direct debits and standing orders were also affected (see the NatWest and RBS meltdown MSE News story).

RBS said the issue hit NatWest, Royal Bank of Scotland and Ulster Bank for three hours yesterday evening on so-called Cyber Monday, the day retailers expected the highest number of online transactions to take place ahead of Christmas.

But we've heard many reports of customers still struggling to use their banking facilities during Tuesday. See our Best Bank Accounts guide if you're angry and want to switch.

Here are RBS Group's responses to some of your key questions. We're still waiting for answers to a number of other queries – we'll update this news story as soon as we hear anything.

Martin Lewis
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Q. RBS says the issue is fixed, but I'm still unable to access my online banking and use my cards. Why is this? And what is being done to fix it?

A. We have heard from some customers who are still experiencing problems as our processes and systems get back to a fully normal service. If any customer is experiencing issues they should get in touch with our call centres or come into our branches, where our staff will be ready to help.

Customers can reach RBS by calling the following freephone numbers: 0800 151 0404 (NatWest), 0800 151 0405 (RBS), 0800 046 5486 (Ulster).

Q. Can RBS clarify its position on what it'll be reimbursing people for? Can I, for example, claim for loss of earnings or phone charges if I haven't been able to get to work as I have no access to my money, or if I've been on the phone to RBS trying to sort out the issue?

A. No customer will be left out of pocket. We will pay back all fees and charges incurred, and for out of pocket costs we will look at each claim on a case-by-case basis. Customers should get in touch with our call centres or come into our branches, where our staff will be ready to help.

Q. Payments made into my account haven't been credited, or payments taken from my account haven't been received – what's happened to my money/transactions? When will this money be returned/statements be updated?

A. We have heard from some customers who are still experiencing problems as our processes and systems get back to a fully normal service. If any customer is experiencing issues, they should get in touch with our call centres or come into our branches, where our staff will be ready to help.

Q. Could the security of my account have been compromised?

A. We take our customers' security very seriously and we will never ask them to disclose security details or personal information. We urge our customers not to click on any links and attachments within suspicious emails and to report a suspicious email to us by emailing phishing@natwest.com or phishing@rbs.co.uk.

If a customer thinks their accounts have been accessed online by someone other than themselves, they should contact us immediately by calling us or by contacting one of our branches.

See the RBS and NatWest websites for more information on how to deal with phishing.

Q. Why does this problem keep happening to RBS?

A. For decades, RBS failed to invest properly in its systems. We need to put our customers' needs at the centre of all we do. It will take time, but we are investing heavily in building IT systems our customers can rely on.

We are sorry for the inconvenience we caused our customers and we know we have to do better. We will be outlining plans in the New Year for making RBS the bank that our customers and the UK need it to be. This will include an outline of where we intend to invest for the future.

Q. Is RBS confident this won't happen again?

A. As the IT incidents over the last year have shown, building and maintaining a top class infrastructure is fundamental. Our customers deserve banking services that work 100% of the time. We have already committed to spend an additional £450 million on improving our systems, on top of our £2 billion annual IT spend.

Q. What is RBS going to do to restore confidence in its banking systems? And what would RBS say to those who are now looking to switch bank?

A. We understand the frustration of many of our customers. The service we have provided is not acceptable and we are working hard to put that right and to rebuild their trust.

From the experience last summer we have made decisions to invest significantly in our technology and we are part way through a multi-year programme to invest billions of pounds in the technology.

We and other UK banks use legacy systems, we need to replace and improve those systems and that is what we are doing but we deeply regret the inconvenience that customers have had.

Q. Former RBS chief executive Stephen Hester promised he would report to customers on the IT problems experienced in the summer of 2012 and what RBS was doing to avert the issue again. What happened to that report?

A. We remain fully committed to publishing the relevant findings of our independent review into summer 2012's IT problems. However, the regulator, the Financial Conduct Authority, announced its own investigation into the incident on 9 April 2013.

We will share the findings of our root cause analysis on completion of that enforcement process.

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