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Swindon building society Nationwide says it has fixed IT glitch
6:59pm Friday 27th July 2012 in News
Nationwide says it has fixed an IT hitch which caused more financial chaos for customers this week.
The problemleft nearly three-quarters of a million customers of Britain's biggest building society, Nationwide, out of pocket after debit card payments were taken from their accounts twice.
Nationwide said it has corrected the mistakes overnight and has promised to reimburse anyone who has incurred extra charges as a direct result.
Jenny Groves, divisional director for customer experience at Nationwide, said today: "We are pleased to confirm that all debit card transactions processed twice have now been successfully corrected.
"Once again we wish to apologise to those customers affected. We have waived all charges and are in the process of refunding any costs associated with our error. Please be assured that none of our customers will suffer financial loss as a result of this."
The building society said a "human error" meant that Visa debit card payments made on Tuesday were duplicated on Wednesday. A Visa spokeswoman said its systems had been working correctly.
Many of the society's customers did not realise what had happened until their cards were refused and some were left thousands of pounds out of pocket.
Nationwide, whose catchphrase is "On your side", recently benefited from a surge in activity from customers looking to switch accounts following the recent spate of banking scandals.
The blunder is a blow to a building society which has successfully marked itself out as offering something different from the big banks.
Nationwide said earlier this month that it had seen a 45% increase in people transferring their main account to the society, including branch, online and telephone applications.
A Nationwide spokeswoman said yesterday that 704,426 of the society's four million current account holders had been affected, of which fewer than 50,000 are thought to have been adversely impacted, by wrongly incurring charges or fees.
Customers have voiced their frustration over this week's problems.
Bride-to-be Helen Carter, 23, told the Daily Mail she had booked a £5,000 honeymoon to the Maldives, but when she checked her Nationwide account yesterday she found £10,000 had been taken out.
She told the newspaper she initially thought her account had been hacked into, adding: "This has sent us into the red and our mortgage payment is due tomorrow."
Another Nationwide customer, Leigh O'Riordan, told the BBC he had paid for his annual rail season ticket from Billericay in Essex to London, at a cost of £3,422, but found the payment had been taken out twice, leaving him without access to money.
Richard Lloyd, executive director of consumer body Which?, said: "This again raises wider questions about how robust banks' systems and safeguards are as consumers bear the brunt of yet another banking glitch."