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Secured Loans > Bank IT Failures: What Should I Do?

Bank IT Failures: What Should I Do?

16th September 2019 | Published by Evo Money

What’s Been Happening?

In the closing months of 2018, a number of high-street banks across the United Kingdom were hit with significant IT failures that impacted customers’ ability to access online services.

In the UK, for the last few years at least, we’ve been constantly bombarded by the press about the growing online threats of hacking and data theft. However, as banks rush to make the necessary improvements to their IT infrastructure, it’s being increasingly noticed that customers are finding access to their own cash can often become impaired during the process; in some cases, people have even missed important payment deadlines despite them having the required money in their accounts.

According to Which, banks in the UK are affected by serious IT failures and outages on a daily basis. From the 1st of April 2018, through to the end of the year, Which discovered that exactly 302 reports were filed by 30 of the UK’s major banks and building societies regarding serious IT failures – this averages out at roughly one incident a day!

Barclays reported the largest number of major incidents, at 41 over the investigated period. This was closely followed by Lloyds Bank with 37, Halifax/The Bank of Scotland with 31, NatWest with 26, RBS with 21 and the Ulster Bank with 18.

Furthermore, ClearScore recently conducted an eye-opening survey, specifically targeting individuals affected by these banking service outages. The results of this survey highlight the significant impact service outages have had upon banking customers; of the 2,000 people interviewed for the survey after experiencing a service outage, roughly 67% found errors in their credit history.

However, it appears that many more mistakes might be sailing under the radar; data suggests that roughly only around a quarter of banking customers actually think to check their Credit Scores after service outages. Additionally, a third of customers have never even considered checking their Credit Score – regardless of whether or not they’ve experienced a service outage.

Pile of pound notes

How Does It Affect Me?

If online services are impacted by outages, people can be left unable to make important payments – leading them to miss payment dates. Missing payment dates can have a significant impact upon a customer’s credit score, and this is especially unfair to customers who’ve had the money in their accounts but were unable to access it.

In some cases, defaulting on an important payment may incur costly late payment fees. Such fees can have staggering effects on customers with irregular streams of income; you could potentially be pushed over your credit limit or into your overdraft, both of which have a chance of damaging your credit score further. Worryingly, having a poor credit score can often affect your ability to qualify for a new mobile phone contract, a loan or even a mortgage.

If you’re worried that your credit score might have been adversely affected as a result of a banking service outage, feel free to check your credit score out now using an online service.

What Should I Do If I’ve Been Affected?

If you’ve spotted an error in your credit score that was most likely caused by something outside of your own control, here’s what you can do to fix it:

Talk to the Bank, Company or the Lender

Ideally, your first stop when trying to fix a credit inaccuracy error should be to contact the company or lender who you’ve been unable to pay because of the service outage. Many companies and lenders will likely be happy to amend the error immediately; however, you should be prepared to go through your company’s, or lender’s, official complaints procedure.

Talk to the Relevant Credit Reference Agencies

As your credit score is a reflection of your financial behaviour, and also belongs to you, it’s important to ensure it’s accurate. You therefore have the right to dispute any information it contains if you think it is incorrect.

If the company, or lender, is unwilling to address the problem, you may have to go directly to one of the UK’s three Credit Reference Agencies: Experian, Equifax or TransUnion. Experian, Equifax and TransUnion all have online forms you can complete that will allow you to raise a query concerning late payments due to bank IT outages. In order to settle the dispute, the Credit Reference Agencies will investigate the issue and contact all related parties.

If the company or lender you are having trouble with fails to agree with your assessment of the events, there’s no need to feel hopeless – a Notice of Correction can also be applied to your credit score file. A Notice of Correction is typically a 200-word explanation of the events from your perspective, usually describing how this incident isn’t reflective of your usual financial behaviour.

How Do I Improve My Credit Score?

A person’s credit score should represent an accurate record of their financial history. There’s no need to worry though if you have a low credit score from prior circumstances – there’s plenty you can do right now to begin to improve it.

Whether it’s by ensuring you’re registered with the electoral roll at your current address, or by applying for a credit-building credit card, there are multiple ways you can begin to rebuild your credit score. For some top tips on how to repair your credit score, check out our fantastic blog post on improving your credit score.

1# https://www.which.co.uk/news/2019/03/revealed-uk-banks-hit-by-major-it-glitches-every-day/
2# https://www.which.co.uk/news/2019/04/two-thirds-of-people-find-credit-score-errors-after-bank-it-failures/

Category: Homepage, Money
This post was written by Evo Money
Warning: Late payment can cause you serious money problems. For help, go to moneyadviceservice.org.uk

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