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The BBC's John Moylan
"It has tarnished the image of its online services"
 real 56k

Monday, 31 July, 2000, 21:54 GMT 22:54 UK
Barclays re-opens online banking site
Barclays Online website
Barclays Bank re-opened its online banking service on Monday night after suffering a serious security problem earlier in the day.

Four customers who logged into the service on Monday morning found they were able to read details of other people's accounts.

We will have a thorough review of the system

Barclays spokeswoman
Barclays says the problem was associated with a software upgrade which went live overnight on Saturday.

It shut down the service at 1530BST, re-instated the old system and re-opened at 1900BST.

A Barclays spokeswoman said: "We will have a thorough review of the system and check it all through and we will not relaunch until totally confident this cannot happen again."

She said seven complaints had been received from the thousands of customers who used the site.

'Serious concern'

Anna Bradley, director of the National Consumer Council, said: "Our research shows that trust is a serious concern for consumers.

"Today's problems at Barclays further undermine consumer confidence and until providers such as Barclays address the problems of security, privacy and customer service, e-commerce will not take off."

Barclays says it believes the software problem may have been triggered when two customers logged on to the service simultaneously.

In the dog-house

Barclays has suffered from a spate of bad publicity recently.

In April, it apologised for the way it had handled the closure of 171 branches, many of them in rural areas.

Chairman Sir Peter Middleton told shareholders at the bank's annual general meeting that he regretted there had been no alternative service in place at the time of the closures.

In some cases, the demise of the Barclays branch left communities with no bank.

Barclays had also been at the forefront of unpopular proposals to charge non-customers for the use of cash machines.

And in March it emerged that the chief executive, Matthew Barrett, had been paid 1.3m for just three months' work, angering staff and customers alike.

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