RBS reviews Olympics hospitality after cancelling Wimbledon

Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) has told C&IT that it is reviewing its Olympics hospitality in the wake of cancelling its corporate entertainment at Wimbledon when a much-publicised IT failure left customers without service.

A spokesman for the majority-taxpayer-owned bank said that all of its hospitality is under review, including its Olympics presence, creating uncertainty as to whether events activity will go ahead. "We are focused on our customers and sorting the [IT] problem at the moment," he said.

The banking giant, which owns Natwest and Ulster Bank, withdrew its hospitality presence from Wimbledon and Gleneagles in July after computer maintenance created an error which stopped customer accounts updating properly.

The banking group has faced criticism from the press for its taxpayer-funded Olympic Games hospitality plans.

The bank said that it would be "inappropriate" to continue providing hospitality following the IT glitch, and cancelled a one-day golf tournament at Gleneagles in Scotland.

It then cancelled all of its Wimbledon tennis hospitality, which was set to continue for the fortnight duration of the tournament.

"In the circumstances, we felt that it would be inappropriate to provide client hospitality at Wimbledon," said a statement that was issued at the time. "Our people are focused on resuming normal service for our customers as soon as possible."

The bank declined to divulge how much money it had planned to spend on hospitality at the Olympics. Its sponsorship of sporting events, however, is unaffected.

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