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Saturday, 19 April 2014

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Cumberland Building Society comes to the rescue of 1,800

Building society bosses have paid the salaries and pensions of more than 1,800 customers whose cash has not arrived because of a banking glitch.

Executives at the Carlisle-based Cumberland revealed the figure as problems caused by issues at RBS persist.

They are honouring payments that should go into customers’ accounts even if they money is not transferred to the building society to process through.

RBS, whose subsidiaries include NatWest and Ulster Bank, had a technical fault more than a week ago, which left tens of thousands of people unable to either access or receive their money.

The firm says the “vast majority” of NatWest and RBS accounts have been free from disruption for much of this week, although it has had more difficulty resolving the problems for Ulster Bank customers.

It is working towards the goal of a “full service” by Monday.

Despite this, Cumbrian residents continue to find themselves without money and struggling to pay mortgages, loans or even feed their families.

Cumberland Building Society itself banks with RBS, but, in an effort to ensure its customers are not left helpless, it originally issued emergency cash payments to customers, but later extended this to cover full salary or pension payments.

Deputy chief executive John Leveson said the situation was ongoing – and frustrating.

He added: “On Thursday night we issued a statement saying the problem had been fixed all outstanding credits had now been paid into accounts.

“Overnight, something broke again and, as of 2.40pm on Friday, there are a small number of credits that would be due to be received into CBS accounts that have not been received as yet.”

He reassured customers that the previous promise to temporarily fund customers’ salaries etc until the problem is fixed does still stand.

Mr Leveson said: “It is extremely frustrating.”

The building society worked closely with Cumbria County Council over the past few days to ensure that any of the council’s 2,500 employees who bank with CBS will be able to receive their salary.

RBS Group chief executive Stephen Hester yesterday said he was determined to “personally lead the process” of regaining the trust of customers hit by the IT meltdown.

Mr Hester, who has announced that he will forgo his bonus this year because of the problems, said it is not clear why the transaction record was not available.

In a letter to Treasury Select Committee chairman Andrew Tyrie, Mr Hester gave further details of how the incident happened and promised a “full and detailed investigation”.

He said the banking group’s initial findings suggest the problems were created when maintenance on its systems, which are managed and operated by its team in Edinburgh, created an error on Tuesday last week


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