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Bank of Scotland finally admits online banking problems still ongoing

Some customers still struggling to access their online accounts one month on

The Bank of Scotland has finally admitted that the online banking problems that arose from a systems migration carried out by parent company Lloyds Banking Group over a month ago are still ongoing.

It is understood that 0.04 percent, or around 1,200, of the three million customers who use BoS's internet banking service are still having post-migration issues.

"We have made some updates to our systems and whilst most customers are experiencing no difficulties, we are aware of a small number of customers still having problems.

"We are sorry for any inconvenience this has caused and are working to fix these problems as quickly as possible," a spokesperson for the Bank of Scotland said.

The bank was forced to admit to the problems after it continued to receive customer complaints from customers via Computerworld UK, despite saying two weeks ago that "faults logged due to the systems changes have been rectified".

One customer was even told in an email on from her bank relationship manager on 3 October that the problems she was experiencing would not be fixed until 7 November - two months after the migration.

Debbi Gault, who has one personal and two business accounts with the BoS, was unable to view her statements online on the Internet Explorer and Firefox browsers until 11 October, when the fix was expedited after Computerworld UK forwarded on her complaint.

"Had access on Firefox to statements for both businesses today for first time in over a month. We are trying to work out what has and has not happened in the accounts during this period.

"Turns out that most of Halifax customers were OK during migration, and that most of the fallout is among BoS customers with business and personal accounts on the one screen (which was what was so great, long ago, about BoS internet banking)," she said.

Gault had also found that one of her Barclaycards was in credit by £16,000 because a payment to the card which was said to have failed, did not.

"Someone important in Lloyds in London called and said he would have BoS return £16,000 to one account and sort it out with Barclaycard later, which was good," she said.

However, she added: "In the meantime, I have opened three HSBC accounts."

A charity has also reported ongoing problems. Support for Play and Early Learning in Lanarkshire (SPELL), a small children's charity in Scotland, said that it did not receive any communication from the bank about the changes to the system.

"I logged on to our internet banking on 15 September to pay bills and could not get in. Then I could see there was a magic blue token required that I had not heard of. And then began my nightmare, which is still continuing.

"I had to pay staff wages by cheque as I was no longer able to use internet banking, and to really finish it off, our telephone banking was also gone.

"Out of desperation I emailed the CEO of the Lloyds Banking Group on 19 September. A woman telephoned me on the 20 September and offered my charity £200 as compensation and said they would sort it out," said Sarah Agnew, office manager at SPELL.

Despite placing orders for new cheque books three times, and telephone banking registration packs twice, since, Agnew did not receive any of these items, and said that she will be forced to withdraw cash to pay staff and bills.

"They have almost completely sabotaged our business. As a small charity we are the smallest fish in the pond and have to just take this," Agnew said.

Meanwhile, customers with personal accounts, such as Diane Hearne, are also still struggling.

Hearne was told by the bank that she and her husband were accessing the online banking site incorrectly, and that they should Google the web address.

"We have not been able to access our accounts online for weeks. We are constantly fobbed off, they try to blame us at all times and deny there is a problem.

"My husband and I both rang last week and on Friday afternoon my husband was told there was no record of us trying to log in and he should go through Google. I then telephoned again and the person I spoke to confirmed that there was a record of attempts to log in and he would send a further report to the technical support team. Again he took my number and email address and amazingly, still no contact whatsoever."

Like Gault, Hearne's experience has driven her to join another bank.

"We have opened an account elsewhere with a view of transferring all of our banking - once we can access our account, of course," she said.

The Bank of Scotland said that any customers still experiencing problems should contact the internet banking helpdesk on 0845 602 000, or on +44 113 279 8302 from outside the UK. It can also be contacted via textphone on 0845 732 3436.

In addition, the spokesperson said the company will look into specific problems of customers who pass on their names and addresses (without account details) to ComputerworldUK. Any customers who wish to pass on their details to the bank can do so by emailing reporter Anh Nguyen directly with subject line 'BoS problem'.


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