Mike Errington, the chief of technology at RBS, may be forced to step down due to a computer glitch that hit the company earlier in the year. Many customers of RBS and NatWest will remember the debacle, which stopped customers not only from accessing their bank accounts online, but also from making loan repayments, paying bills or rent, and even from completing the most basic of financial transactions, such as moving money from one of their accounts to one that was about to be charged with a credit card bill or mortgage repayment.
Errington has managed to stay out of the limelight since the troubles hit the bank, even though other members of his department have since resigned over the issue, admitting that the problem was more than just a simple technological glitch that rested with a low-level employee.
One of the worst parts of the debacle for Errington is a phrase that he uttered in 2007, emphasising the growing importance of technology and the internet to banks: “Technology underpins most, if not all RBS services, delivering the speed, reliability and instant access that our customers and staff demand.”
Of course, now that he has overseen one of the largest computer glitches in the history of banking, his leadership is being questioned. As if the actual problem itself wasn’t bad enough, Errington also faces criticism, along with RBS as a whole, for how long it took them to sort out the problem and get everything operating correctly again for customers.
In an age where the public are becoming increasingly conscious of banking practices and the people at the top, wanting to know that they are earning their pay cheques, a mistake like this could easily cost Errington his job, and plenty of people will be watching to see how the banking sector deals with him.