Banking customers vulnerable in face of ongoing IT failures

31st Jan 2020

Research by consumer group Which? has revealed that more than three-quarters of Britons use a single cash provider.

The survey of 1,500 UK consumers revealed that 77 per cent have only one account, or multiple accounts with the same provider, leaving them potentially cashless in the event of IT faults. Three in ten (29%) also never or rarely carry cash. 

IT failures have plagued the banking sector in the past year, with Financial Conduct Authority data revealing that the main UK banks suffered 265 IT failures, an increase on the 228 seen in 2018. 

Widespread branch closures, as banks increasingly move towards online services, have placed significant pressure on the UK’s cash sector. Which? believes that the government should introduce legislation to protect cash, as some customers are still reliant on it, while the consumer group believes it will also serve as “a vital backup when digital systems fail.” 

Jenny Ross, Which? Money Editor, said: “We found that the vast majority of people only have one payment option, leaving them especially vulnerable to being shut out of payments by IT outages that hit bank customers almost every day.  

“If the industry wants to encourage people online then banks must demonstrate their systems are up to scratch by drastically reducing the number of outages.”

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