As if moving house were not stressful enough. NatWest’s IT glitch last week caused mayhem in customers’ accounts – including those trying to complete house sales.

Some of the 12 million customers affected missed wage payments or were unable to pay their rent or mortgage. Others were unfairly charged overdraft fees, or have had their credit scores threatened.

The issue was reportedly caused by a software update to RBS’s payment processor corrupting the whole system. RBS have apologised, and has a legal duty to put customers back into the position that they were in before the problem occurred.

For example, the bank will waive any inadvertent overdraft fees and is working with credit agencies to make sure that customers credit scores are not affected.

But some people have suffered consequences less easy to repair.

There are reports of buyers and sellers having their house sales ruined when their money failed to transfer. Because they could not prove that the funds had arrived, solicitors were unable to complete the sale.

One couple thought that they had paid for their new home and had already moved in, when they were asked to leave. Other families have had to move out of their old homes – but with nowhere to go. In some cases the homeowners were not even RBS customers, but their solicitors were.

Although the bank tried to encourage solicitors to go ahead with house sales by seeking confirmation of payment in other ways, many families have already had disaster on moving day.

At Limetree we were lucky enough not to have any clients who were caught up in the troubles with NatWest. But our sympathies go out to those around the country who were. We hope that RBS get things sorted out quickly for you.

Posted in Mortgages