Nearly half of UK households say that they would struggle to cope if their monthly outgoings rose by £99. We look at how you can create some financial 'breathing space' to help you out if you lose your job or become ill.
Banks 'have fixed' account problems
Nationwide has apologised to customers following a technical hitch
Nationwide and NatWest both said they have fixed separate IT hitches which caused more financial chaos for customers this week.
The problems left 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.
In another blow to customers, NatWest, which is still rebuilding its customer reputation after a huge IT meltdown last month, saw its online service freeze for several hours on Thursday, leaving customers locked out of their accounts, while some also had problems using debit cards.
Jenny Groves, divisional director for customer experience at Nationwide, said: "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.
NatWest's latest problems come just weeks after its IT chaos which stopped people's accounts updating properly and prompted chief executive Stephen Hester to forgo his bonus this year. The bank said on Thursday night its online banking and debit transactions had returned to normal following the new hitch.
NatWest said that the latest problems were not related to last month's chaos and were caused by a "hardware failure" in one of its technology centres.
A spokesman said: "We continue to monitor the situation closely and apologise for any inconvenience caused. We will, of course, ensure that no customer is left out of pocket as a result."
related stories on msn
latest money videos
While Royal Mail showed an increase in yearly profits Marks and Spencer saw profits fall agaisnt last year's figures.
Date 18 hrs ago, Duration 1:51, Views 267
more on msn money
msn money poll
When did you last switch your current account?
Thanks for being one of the first people to vote. Results will be available soon. Check for results
- In the last six months
- In the last year
- In the last two years
- In the last three years
- In the last five years
- 75 %I have never switched current accounts