FCA fines RBS, NatWest and Ulster Bank


The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has presented the Royal Bank of Scotland, the National Westminster Bank and Ulster Bank with fines amounting to £42 million collectively.

What did the banks do wrong?

These charges, which were announced late last month, are essentially punishment for an IT failure that occurred in summer 2012 – when a software update prompted the emergence of a glitch. Once it discovered this, the bank decided to uninstall the update without testing out the consequences first.

This resulted in problems for the banks' payment processing systems. Customers across the country and in Ireland were inconvenienced, as some were unable to access their money or carry out the simplest of transactions.

The regulatory body confirmed plans to fine RBS at the start of November, while the investigation into Ulster Bank was still under way. As a subsidiary of RBS, NatWest also faces the fines.

Continued stringency from the FCA

The FCA's director of enforcement and financial crime, Tracey McDermott, commented: "Modern banking depends on effective, reliable and resilient IT systems. The banks' failures meant millions of customers were unable to carry out the banking transactions which keep businesses and people's everyday lives moving."

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