Royal Bank of Scotland boss Ross McEwan admitted that it had failed to invest properly in systems for decades.
It has been 21 years since the first text message was sent from a computer to an Orbitel 901 mobile phone.
The Metropolitan Police's new cyber crime unit have put together a check-list for online shoppers looking to avoid online fraudsters.
Astronomers have spotted what appear to be two super massive black holes at the heart of a remote galaxy, circling each other like dance partners.
"At first we thought this galaxy's unusual properties might mean it was forming new stars at a furious rate," said Peter Eisenhardt, at NASA, "but on closer inspection, it looks more like the death spiral of merging giant black holes."
Follow-up observations revealed unusual features in the galaxy, including a lumpy tail of matter, or jet, thought to be the result of one black hole causing the jet of the other to sway.
"We think the jet of one black hole is being wiggled by the other, like a dance with ribbons," said Chao-Wei Tsai, "If so, it is likely the two black holes are fairly close and gravitationally entwined."
The findings could teach astronomers more about how super massive black holes grow by merging with each other.
Almost every large galaxy is thought to harbour a super massive black hole filled with the equivalent in mass of up to billions of suns.
The problem for RBS - and frankly most of the other big banks - is that it has been under investing for years in the IT infrastructure. These are the back room computers that make all this work normally.
In fact, a lot of the systems date back to the 1980s or 1990s and one former RBS IT executive described to me a "culture of fear" within the teams there. They don't want to touch these systems because often when they do, they break.
RBS says it is tackling the IT problems, it's investing an extra £450m but with this latest collapse happening just as the Christmas spending really begins to gear up, they might be wishing they out that money in some time ago.
Labour criticised the Government's new measures to cap mobile phone bills for victims of handset theft as "not strong enough protection" for consumers, because it relies on voluntary participation from phone companies.
– Helen Goodman, Labour’s Shadow Communications Minister
By relying on a voluntary approach they are not giving strong enough protection to consumers, who too often face phone rip-offs.
Labour has clear plans that the Government should implement now.
Caps on charges run up on stolen phones should be fixed at £50.The companies should also be required to give people warnings when reaching limits on texts and phone call and concrete steps should be taken on the recycling of handsets.
The measures, set to be introduced next spring, include a break-off clause if call prices rise mid-contract, but Ms Goodman said this will "fail" most people with phone contracts.
"Existing fixed contracts should be fixed – introducing ‘fixed means fixed’ from January will fail most mobile users."
RBS Group - which represents RBS and NatWest - has said cases of customers being "out of pocket" due to the recent card payment problems will be considered on an individual basis.
Customers are asked to call their bank or visit a branch to discuss the matter with staff.
A spokesman for RBS said: "We are committed to putting this right."
- NatWest customers should call: 0800 151 0404
- RBS customers should call: 0800 151 0405
The chief executive of RBS has admitted last night's situation where customers found themselves unable to pay at tills and unable to access online banking as "unacceptable" and has blamed decades of failure "to invest properly in its systems":
– RBS Chief executive Ross McEwan
Last night's systems failure was unacceptable.
Yesterday was a busy shopping day and far too many of our customers were let down, unable to make purchases and withdraw cash.
For decades, RBS failed to invest properly in its systems.
We need to put our customers' needs at the centre of all we do.
It will take time, but we are investing heavily in building IT systems our customers can rely on.
I'm sorry for the inconvenience we caused our customers. We know we have to do better.
RBS has said it is to compensate customers left "out of pocket" from the recent card payment failures. NatWest, RBS and Ulster Bank customers were left unable to use their bank cards for three hours yesterday. The banks say the matter is now resolved.
We would like to apologise to our customers. If anyone has been left out of pocket as a result of these problems, we will put this right.
Any customer experiencing issues this morning should get in touch with our call centres or branches where our staff will be ready to help.
Culture Secretary Maria Miller said the Government's new deal with telecoms providers will help to prevent families with mobile phones being hit with surprise price rises mid-contract.
– Culture Secretary Maria Miller
We are ensuring hard-working families are not hit with shock bills through no fault of their own.
Families can be left struggling if carefully planned budgets are be blown away by unexpected bills from a stolen mobile or a mid-contract price rise.
This agreement with the telecoms companies will deliver real benefits to consumers and help ensure people are not hit with shock bills.
Here are details of the new measures to protect mobile phone users from "shock bills", which are expected to be enforced from next spring
- A new liability cap - expected to be £50 - on mobiles that are lost or stolen
- A right to be informed if prices rise mid-contract
- A right to break off the contract without penalty if they don't want to pay higher rates
- BT, Sky and TalkTalk have agreed to support Government efforts to eliminate EU roaming charges by 2016.
Mobile phone users whose handsets are stolen will no longer be hit with "shock bills" when a new cap on the maximum value of calls they will be expected to pay for comes into force next spring.
The Government has struck the deal with four major mobile companies - EE, Three, Virgin Media and Vodafone, as well as communications providers BT, Sky and TalkTalk.
It marks the latest move by ministers to help households struggling to pay their bills, following accusations by Labour leader Ed Miliband that the UK is suffering a "cost of living crisis".