From time to time we receive complaints from consumers who’ve lost out because of a problem with their bank’s IT system.
When this has happened, we see complaints because consumers can’t access their online bank account, or a payment they’ve made has failed because of a technical error or outage with their bank’s IT system.
Types of complaint we see
Consumers usually complain to us about the loss they’ve suffered as a result of a problem with their bank’s IT system.
Here are some examples of the types of loss you might be complaining about:
Charges for late or missed payments
You may have had to pay a charge because of a late payment or because you missed a payment.
- If your wages were paid in late, your bank may have charged you for going overdrawn.
- If you missed making a payment to someone else – like your credit-card company, landlord or mortgage provider – they may have charged you.
Other knock-on financial losses
If a payment from your bank account was delayed, you might have suffered a knock-on financial loss, other than a charge for missing a payment.
For example, a delayed payment into a savings account might mean you lose interest on savings. And if you’re a small business, you may have experienced trading losses because of disruption to your business account.
You might have had to pay for various things when trying to sort out the problems with your bank – like the cost of phone calls, fares and parking charges.
Or there could be larger costs, like extra legal bills if you had to delay buying a house.
Losses that aren’t financial
You might have suffered trouble, stress or inconvenience because of what you’ve been through.
For example, you might have been embarrassed because you couldn’t repay a debt you owed. Or you may have had to take time off work to sort out urgent problems.
Some people have reported fraud on their accounts as a direct result of their bank’s IT problems.
Sometimes fraudsters pretend to be from the bank and offer help to sort things out – when, in fact, they’re trying to gain access to your account.
Read more about how we can help with complaints about fraud and scams.
What we look at
We look at the facts, ask questions and decide what’s fair in each case.
If we agree your bank has done something wrong – and you’ve lost out – we can tell them to put things right.
How to complain
Talk to your bank first so that they have the chance to put things right. Tell them briefly and clearly:
- what happened to you because of the IT problems
- what you want them to do to help put things right for you
- what losses you want them to cover
It will help if you can back up your complaint with any notes or paperwork you’ve got – for example, copies of:
- bank, mortgage and credit-card statements showing charges resulting from the bank’s IT problems
- phone bills, bus tickets or receipts for travel and petrol
- things like emails from the time that help show how the situation was directly affecting you
Your bank needs to give you their final response within 15 days for complaints about payment services. If you’re unhappy with their response, or if they don’t respond, let us know.
We’ll check your complaint is something we can deal with, and if it is, we’ll investigate to understand what happened and what went wrong.
Find out more about making a complaint.
Putting things right
If we think your bank has done something wrong or treated you unfairly, we’ll ask them to put things right. This will depend on the individual circumstances and how you’ve been affected – it could include telling the bank to pay you compensation to:
- make sure you don’t end up out of pocket
- recognise the inconvenience and trouble you’ve been through
We can also tell the bank to take steps to make sure you’ve not lost out any other way – for example, by telling them to correct your credit file.