Aashna Shroff, personal finance expert at money.co.uk, comments:

"Natwest and RBS had barely 'fixed' their IT issues before their websites went offline again. It seems as though hardly a week goes by without a high street bank failing its customers by experiencing an IT outage for some reason or other. It's just not acceptable that consumers can't rely on their banks to give them access to their money when they need it.

"If you are out of pocket as a result of Natwest and RBS being offline - for example, because you couldn't make a critical payment - the banks should ensure you are not penalised with additional charges for late payments or interest, either cancelling the charge or refunding the amount if another bank charged you.

"Similarly, if your credit rating has been affected because you've missed a payment, the banks should help you resolve this. Remember to check your credit rating to see if there have been any issues and contact your bank immediately if there are.

"If there's any quibble about any of this, you can always take your case to the Financial Ombudsman - whose website is up and running.

"If you are worried about any matters concerning your account or you need to make a payment urgently, you should contact the bank via their call centre or one of the other channels available."