Some Bank of Scotland (BoS) customers have experienced problems managing their accounts in branches, as well as online, two weeks after a systems migration.
However, the bank denies any issues with branch systems, insisting that they are all “fully operational” and urged customers still experiencing problems to contact the bank.
“Services in branches have been fully operational since the system change. If an individual customer has experienced an issue in a specific branch, I am more than happy to look into this case in more detail,” a spokesperson for Bank of Scotland said.
BoS’s online banking customers have been facing problems with accessing their accounts after a system upgrade by parent company Lloyds Banking Group over the weekend of 10 September. Lloyds is currently migrating Halifax and Bank of Scotland customers onto the Lloyds TSB platform. Last week, a customer’s ongoing account access problems were resolved within a day but only after ComputerworldUK published an article highlighting his issues.
Around three million people use BoS’s internet banking service, and holders of personal and business accounts have been affected in a variety of different ways.
One small business customer, who wished to remain anonymous, told ComputerworldUK: “The local business banking branch could not access or print details, receipts etc, and they confirmed that they have had only a handful of customers not reporting problems, with the vast majority hitting issues.”
In response to BoS’s statement, the customer added: “[My] regional business manager absolutely admitted that there were problems with the branch systems, in particular not being able to print caused by different versions of some software platform being used.”
Another problem that some customers raised was around the tokens that business customers are required to use, after they enter their username and password, to access their accounts.
As part of the migration, the bank sent out new tokens to replace ones that were provided by RSA. RSA suffered a major attack on its SecurID token-based authentication system earlier this year.
One customer said he “never got as far as the token”, while another customer said that unlike the RSA tokens, the new ones from Vasco are branded with the BoS logo, which they believed would allow anyone to know which website to access to hack an account.
“We wrote to all customers earlier this year to explain that they would be receiving new tokens. The new tokens were necessary to support the system upgrades. A very small percentage of [business] customers (less than 0.2 percent) experienced delays receiving their tokens, or issues using them after receipt,” the BoS spokesperson said.
But the bank declined to comment on whether or not the new tokens were brought in due to RSA’s security breach.
Customers have also had problems accessing their accounts via different web browsers.
One customer can access an account through Firefox, for example, but not through Internet Explorer 9 on Windows 7.
The BoS spokesperson said: “Our online platform is routinely tested against a wide range of browser and operating system combinations. Customers using both IE9 and Windows 7 have accessed the site without any problems. It could be due to individual settings on the customer’s PC.”
Nonetheless, the affected customer said: “The issue is that the ‘old’ Internet banking system was working on the same PC as of 3pm Friday [9 September], the new one was not working at 9am [12 September]. The only difference is the Lloyds system and they have to appreciate that it is for them to make their systems conform with Microsoft’s standards, not the other way round!”
Meanwhile, a customer has revealed that access to his bank accounts was restored just hours after his problems were highlighted by ComputerworldUK. He had originally been told that it would take another 10 days from last Tuesday to fix the problem.
“My relationship manager at BoS forwarded this [the article] to the BoS press office, finally putting pressure on them to resolve the issue, and I was up and running by 9.30 that evening,” said Simon Guiton, managing director of veterinary publisher VetIndex
“This is a really great result, but it shows that in my case at least, the only thing to cut through the complete inertia was to shine the harsh spotlight of bad publicity on the bank.”