RBS sign

An RBS banking outage hit shoppers seeking Cyber Monday deals

Thousands of Cyber Monday shoppers struggled to complete their purchases yesterday evening after an IT glitch at RBS hit banking transactions.

Customers of RBS, NatWest and Ulster Bank found their card and online payments were affected between 18.30 and 21.30 on Monday.

RBS said today services were back to normal and apologised to customers. “If anyone has been left out of pocket as a result of these systems problems, we will put this right,” the bank said.

Speaking to the BBC this morning, director of customer relations Susan Allen said RBS would compensate customers for interest incurred as a result of payments not going through, but stopped short of promising to compensate shoppers who failed to secure Cyber Monday bargains, recommending they speak to RBS branch staff in person.

“It is completely unacceptable that customers couldn’t access their own money,” she said.

Shoppers took to social media to vent their frustration. “Lost the chance of getting Cyber Monday deals thanks to the glitch,” tweeted one site user.

Other users reported their accounts were still showing inaccurate balances on Tuesday morning.

Yesterday’s outage echoed another major IT glitch at RBS in June and July 2012, which was caused by a software update to the bank’s systems.


Cyber Monday has become recognised as one of the busiest online shopping days of the year, with a number of high-street retailers offering deals.

M&S offered 20% off products on its website while Asda Online offered 15% off cameras and accessories as well as deals on items such as top-selling computer game Call of Duty.

Tesco, which offered 50% off selected lines on its website, reported a 114% increase in the number of site visits on Monday morning. This followed an 80% lift in website visitors over the weekend, it said.

Cyber – or ‘Mega’ – Monday followed ‘Black Friday’, traditionally a US-based shopping craze timed to follow the Thanksgiving weekend, although this year retailers such as Walmart-owned Asda ran Black Friday offers.

Online shopping continues to grow apace, with new figures from the BRC out today showing that online sales of non-food products in the UK grew 16% in November compared to a year earlier.

Online sales represented 19.9% of total non-food sales in November.