Experian: RBS Customers' Credit Ratings Will Remain Intact

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By Michael Klimes | December 5, 2013 4:20 AM EST

The credit rating of Royal Bank Scotland customers should not have been affected by the IT meltdown on Cyber Monday (Reuters)

The credit rating of customers at the Royal Bank of Scotland will not be affected by the bank's recent IT fiasco, according to Experian, a firm that rates consumers' credit worthiness.

James Jones, head of consumer affairs, said that a meltdown of a bank's IT system had to last more than 24 hours for it to have a genuine chance of affecting a person's credit rating.

"Hopefully the potential effect on people's credit ratings is very minimal, which is a bit different from the first incident in June 2012," he told IBTimes UK.

There have been three significant RBS IT debacles in past year and a half: one in June 2012, another in March 2013 and the most recent one.

The 2012 IT failure disrupted banking services for millions of NatWest, RBS and Ulster Bank customers on a scale and for longer than has ever happened at any British bank since they became computerised.

Jones said: "If payments to other lenders and maybe other service providers that may share information through credit reference agencies on people's credit reports have been delayed by these banking issues, then there is the potential for these peoples' credit ratings to be affected.

During the 2012 disruption Experian did issue advice to RBS customers. It said customers should be checking their own credit reports, and could ask that the bank amends its own data and any changes that may have occurred because of systems failing.  

"Organisations that share data on credit reports are usually quite flexible with these things. So if payments are late by a day and as I said this incident was resolve very quickly, then it is unlikely that they would register late payment information," said Jones.

"So generally if you are late by a day or something then I think you would be very unlucky to find negative information about that on your credit report," he added.

RBS put aside £125m to compensate thousands of customers affected by the 2012 system failure.

In April this year, Britain's financial watchdog said it will investigate RBS over the events that left millions of customers unable to access their accounts.

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