RBS cancels hospitality at Wimbledon after IT crisis

RBS believes it is finally getting on top of the crisis
RBS believes it is finally getting on top of the crisis
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THE Royal Bank of Scotland has cancelled its corporate hospitality at Wimbledon and scrapped a one-day golf tournament as it tries to re-establish normal service after the IT meltdown which left customers unable to access their cash.

Reports today blamed a junior technician in India – recruited after the bank outsourced work when it laid off thousands of staff in the UK – for causing the disastrous computer glitch.

A technology website claimed the “inexperienced operative” had erased information during a routine software upgrade.

RBS declined to comment on the claim.

The bank, which said it is finally getting on top of the crisis, has already hosted clients for the first two days of Wimbledon and had planned to do so for the rest of the fortnight.

But it said it had decided to cancel hospitality at the tennis championships from today because it was “inappropriate” in the current circumstances.

It also confirmed it had cancelled a golf tournament featuring Jack Nicklaus at Gleneagles today. Sponsorship of other sporting events was unaffected, a spokeswoman said.

The moves came as Bank of England governor Sir Mervyn King said bank bosses should be investigated over the affair.

Sir Mervyn told MPs yesterday there would need to be a “detailed investigation” into what went wrong and why it had taken so long to sort the issues out.

RBS chief executive Stephen Hester has said there is no evidence to suggest job cuts or outsourcing were to blame for the problems. He also pointed out the main IT centre for the whole RBS group was at Fettes Row in Edinburgh.

But a source was quoted saying: “Staff at the RBS Gogar site had been predicting this for months and think it will happen again.

“The problem is to do with the electronic banking system which is controlled by staff in India who haven’t been trained properly.”

A spokesman for the Unite union said: “Following 30,000 job losses at the bank and extensive outsourcing of functions, the union has grave concerns that staffing challenges are exacerbating the problems facing the bank.

“It is the workforce at RBS who are working round the clock to resolve the problems customers are facing.”

RBS said it had successfully updated all but one per cent of RBS and NatWest account balances, although it had been less successful in sorting out delays experienced by Ulster Bank customers.