The Royal Bank of Scotland has been accused of writing fake reviews for its new banking app Bó before it was officially available to download.
A series of five-star reviews of the app published months ahead of Bó’s launch on Nov 27 praised features such as its notifications and design.
Another positive review, published on the day of the app’s release, was written by an account which has the same name as an RBS employee.
NatWest owner RBS began development of Bó after abandoning an attempt to acquire fast-growing banking start-up Monzo several years ago.
Three recent reviews of the app on Apple’s store accuse RBS of planting fakes. One reviewer wrote: “Was keen to test this out but concerned by the mass of five-star reviews parroting the marketing materials.”
A spokesman for RBS said more than 2,800 people signed up to Bó as part of a pilot phase, which included staff from across the bank.
He added: “Feedback from these customers shows Bó has helped testers take control of their spending – which is why we built it.
“We test our products, including with staff, before they are available to our customers and use feedback from pilots to improve the services and products we offer.”
A spokesman for Apple said that its App Store guidelines prohibit any attempts to manipulate reviews.
If companies are found to have manipulated reviews, Apple “will take steps to preserve the integrity of the App Store, which may include expelling you from the developer program,” the guidelines say.