The Royal Bank of Scotland is a shambles

I doubt that there were many people surprised by the announcement the week before last that RBS the parent of the Nat West Bank had been fined £2.8million for its shoddy handling of complaints. I certainly didn’t raise an eyebrow. The reason being that I have been trying to get £900 back for a young lady since last summer and have only discovered ineptitude and incompetence at all levels.

The back ground to the story is that in April 2010 Miss X moved house and asked for her deposit back from her landlord. “Ah no”, said the landlord you missed a payment in 2009. This was news to Miss X who not only checked her bank statements but also kept them. Looking through she could see that the Bank had made every payment although one was late meaning that for one month no payment had been made and in the next month 2.

The landlord was adamant that he had not got the cash so Miss X got letters from the branch to say that he had been paid and two certificated statements proving it in the form prescribed by the landlord. “No”, said the landlord, “we are sure we did not get the money”. Armed with assurances from the bank that the payment had been made Miss X instructed a solicitor to start proceedings. Try the Bank one more time said the solicitor because you will need to prove that it is not the Bank at fault instead of the landlord.

That’s when the Nat West Bank started to back track and back track furiously. After some three weeks delay they issued a new statement to Miss X saying that the £900 had not been paid and what should have appeared was a payment for £9 to an off licence in Birkenhead!  Miss X’s bank manager said on three occasions that a letter of explanation would be sent – none has been received.

“Right”, I thought, “I will deal with this matter for Miss X”. I wrote to the Chief Executive of the RBS on 2nd October. On 19th October I was chatting with a senior RBS official and mentioned this to him. Coincidentally as I did so a message was left for me saying that the letter had only just been received in the right department and would I hold off any further action. Of course I would – I am after all a very reasonable person.

On 26th November I got a letter from Brian Hartzer who has the very important title of CEO, UK Retail, Wealth & Ulster apologising again for the considerable delay and saying that a full letter had been sent to Miss X. At least the matter is ended I thought before I went away on business. Regrettably this was not so.

My top brass contact at the RBS was again in my office on the day that I found this out and personally intervened. Miss X would be sent an e-mail containing the letter if I gave him and the department the correct e-mail address. Miss X did get an e-mail within days. Unfortunately despite being told that Miss X had not had a letter it referred to the contents of the letter and told her that checks were being made inside an accounting system in the Bank and she would hear shortly! Are you surprised to learn, dear reader, that Miss X has had no communication from the Nat West since?

So on 8th January I again wrote to Mr Brian Hartzer and as at 22nd January have yet to receive the courtesy of even an acknowledgement.

So 10 months after starting an enquiry with the Nat West Miss X has no idea of where her money has gone, why it was taken; why the bank told her and her landlord for months that it had been paid; why all four letters explaining the situation which have been promised her have failed to arrive; why it takes 6 weeks plus to examine their own record system; what compensation she is to get for the days that she and I have spent trying to sort out what should be a relatively straight forward matter!

Frankly RBS is so incompetent that they make even DCLG and the lovely Eric Pickles look good. I am champion complainer. These peasants know that I have high contacts and will use them. Yet still they bumble on like Mr Bean.

Sorry Mr Hartzer it’s now High Noon. Sort this out by the end of the month or I will set Lord Oakeshott on you. You have been warned!


About richardkemp

Leader of the Liberal Democrats in Liverpool. Deputy Chair and Lib Dem Spokesperson on the LGA Community Wellbeing Board. Married to the lovely Cllr Erica Kemp CBE with three children and four grandchildren.
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1 Response to The Royal Bank of Scotland is a shambles

  1. Thank god for ward work, councillors’ surgeries, ‘my patch’ etc. This could be described as banal – but its truly ‘the banality of good’. The organisational myopia demonstrated by RBS is just what leads to its opposite – ‘plausible deniability’ and ultimately ‘the banality of evil’. This posting was a joy to read. Well done Cllr Kemp and well done his constituent for having the sense to seek the help of a local councillor.

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