Nationwide online banking glitch shows savings accounts as empty – just as customers look to switch from rival banks

Nationwide glitch: The problem was fixed quickly - but will still be an embarrassment to Britain's biggest building societyDaily Mail – by Lee Boyce

The country’s biggest building society was hit with a systems failure today that prevented customers checking their current account online and showed savings balances as zero.

The glitch in Nationwide’s online banking lasted only an hour and affected a ‘small’ number of customers – but lender will be embarrassed as it tries to attract current account customers now more inclined to switch banks after new rules have made it easier.  

The problem – which follow more serious IT breakdowns earlier this year and in 2012 – affected Nationwide customers logging in to see their current and savings account balances from around 8am.

Nationwide, whose advertising slogan is ‘on your side’, said the hitch has since been fixed and it apologised to customers for any inconvenience.

The glitch comes just after it reported a 79 per cent week-on-week surge in the number of people initiating a switch of their current account to the building society following a new industry-wide guarantee earlier this month aimed at taking the hassle out of switching bank.

Nationwide said the recent surge follows a strong period of growth in its market share of current accounts in recent years, which coincided with several major scandals involving big banks.

The building society suffered a similar technical problem in April, when customers were locked out of their online accounts. Last year, nearly three-quarters of a million Nationwide customers saw debit card payments taken from their accounts twice. These mistakes were later corrected.

Consumers this morning vented their annoyance and some pointed out that many people need to check their wages are being paid in at around this time of the month.

One user of social media website Twitter said: ‘Tried to log into online banking this morning to get told ‘it doesn’t look like you have an account with us’.’

Another wrote: ‘Seems I’m not the only one who happens to have lost their Nationwide accounts this morning online.’

Nationwide posted an apology to customers on Twitter, said: ‘Some customers were unable to access accounts this AM due to a technical fault. This has been fixed & we apologise for any inconvenience.’

A spokesman for the building society could not give a figure for how many customers were affected but said it was a relatively small number.

Lloyds Banking Group also had technical problems earlier this month, which to its embarrassment were on the first day its new TSB branches launched on to the high street.

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