British lawmakers demand answers on service disruption at Cashplus

LONDON, Sept 20 (Reuters) - British lawmakers demanded an explanation from banking services provider Cashplus after outages left customers unable to receive or make payments this week, the latest in a series of disruptions at British financial firms this year.

In a letter published on Thursday, Nicky Morgan, chair of the influential Treasury Select Committee, asked Cashplus boss Richard Wagner what caused the service outage and what steps he has taken to compensate customers and prevent a repeat.

Financial technology firm Cashplus is not a bank, but offers prepaid credit cards and current accounts to 1.3 million customers in Britain.

It markets its personal accounts to people with poor credit histories, and its business accounts to small firms, Morgan said in the letter.

“A loss of banking services can carry particularly severe consequences for these types of customer, and I have also asked Mr Wagner how those who have lost out will be compensated,” Morgan wrote.

Privately owned Cashplus apologised for the outages in a statement posted on its social media channels on Wednesday and Thursday.

“All our services are now working as normal. Our CEO will be sending out an email to all customers later today to both apologise and update you on what happened,” Cashplus said.

It is the latest financial firm in Britain to face questions about its services this year, after the Treasury Committee earlier asked the payment services firms PayPoint and Visa, and the bank TSB, about service outages.

Barclays also apologised on Thursday via social media channels for technological problems that left some customers unable to access its online banking services.

Reporting By Lawrence White; Editing by Susan Fenton