Dec. 3 - A systems crash that affected more than 1 million British and Irish customers of Royal Bank of Scotland reawakens concerns about the state-backed bank's technology platform. Ivor Bennett reports on the latest crisis to hit the state-owned bank.
It lasted just three hours - but the effects will be felt for a whole lot longer. A system crash at RBS on Monday left more than a million customers unable to withdraw cash or use debit cards to pay for goods. It's the latest in a long line of problems that's left the bank's reputation in tatters. Customer Lawrence Brodie. SOUNDBITE (English) LAWRENCE BRODIE, CUSTOMER, SAYING: "You do immediately wonder what's happened and how has that situation arisen. And I have to say disappointing for me the fact that RBS, who are very, very good at communicating to me via text when they are promoting messages to me regularly, didn't choose to do so on this occasion." The cause of the crash is still unknown but it's not the first time it's happened. A similar problem last year cost the bank 175 million pounds in compensation. This glitch is likely to cost millions more. CEO Ross McEwan has promised to overhaul the bank's outdated systems, planning to spend 700 million pounds in the next three years Reputationally though, this couldn't have come at a worse time for RBS. It's still 80 percent state-owned after a bailout during the financial crisis. And earlier this month it was accused of mistreating struggling businesses for its own benefit. Director of Customer Solutions Susan Allen admits this latest problem could further upset customers. SOUNDBITE (English) SUSAN ALLEN, DIRECTOR OF CUSTOMER SOLUTIONS, RBS GROUP, SAYING: "It's awful. Our customers should be able to depend on us. That's the sort of bank we want to be. We want our customers to be abel to reply on us and we have let them down." RBS isn't the only bank under the spotlight at the moment after a raid on Commerzbank's offices in Germany. The search was linked to tax evasion probe. Officials are looking for evidence of wealth management products being sold as life insurance to help investors dodge taxes. The inquiry's focussed on a third party company which so far prosecutors haven't named.