Royal Bank of Scotland has been hit by a new software failure, admitting that dormant bank accounts were concealed from thousands of customers.
RBS said yesterday the problem came to light in standard reviews of its internal systems in recent months, and that about 4,500 customers were affected, with an average amount of £50 involved.
A bank spokesman said that it had alerted the regulator, the Financial Conduct Authority, and was sending out letters of apology to customers. He said: “Unfortunately we wrongly advised some customers who had made a request through the BBA [British Bankers Association] Lost Account scheme that they did not hold a dormant account with us.
“We are very sorry that this happened and as soon as we discovered this we took steps to correct our error. We are writing to all affected customers and asking them to visit their local branch with ID to reclaim their outstanding balance. We have apologised for the inconvenience caused and are making sure that we put this right.”
The latest gaffe by RBS, which is still 73 per cent owned by the taxpayer, involved incorrect filters being set up on bank software which failed to properly identify the owners of inactive accounts.
The lender was fined £56 million last year for a computer meltdown in 2012 that left six million customers locked out of their accounts for days.
RBS chief executive Ross McEwan has said he is putting customer service at the heart of the bank’s offering after the gung-ho expansion under Sir Fred Goodwin in the run-up to the financial crash.