Nationwide May Not Buy RBS Branches due to IT Issues

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It’s no secret that there are issues with the computer systems that RBS uses. Earlier this year, customers across the UK and Ireland suddenly discovered they could not access their online banking services and thus were unable to pay bills, monitor their transactions, make loan repayments or transfer money between accounts when they wanted to.

The problems were dealt with eventually, though some areas had to wait far longer than others to see things resolved. Now, the computer issues may be coming back to plague RBS once again as Nationwide seems to be considering dropping its bid to buy up RBS branches after they foresaw numerous issues in integrating RBS’s computer systems with their own.

RBS is being forced to sell branches due to the massive taxpayer bailout it received at the beginning of the financial crisis, but this is now the second deal that could be thrown into disarray since negotiations for the branches began. Santander was very close to buying the branches, but backed out of the deal partly because of the possible IT issues and partly because of the ongoing economic difficulties in Spain, where the bank is based. Nationwide then stepped in with a lower offer, but it now looks like that could fall apart as well, again thanks to the computer systems.

IT has become an incredibly important part of modern banking, so the fact that two separate organisations have taken a look at RBS’s IT infrastructure and found it utterly off-putting is a damning indictment of the state of it. If this second deal falls through, then the next may be for even less, and the taxpayer will see even less of their money back from the initial bailout.

Customers can’t help but remember the problems earlier this year whenever RBS’s computers are mentioned, and if they’re in as bad a condition as the other banks seem to think, it might not be the last time the systems fail.