Bank of Scotland customers in debit card meltdown

A Bank of Scotland branch in Glasgow. Picture: Robert Perry
A Bank of Scotland branch in Glasgow. Picture: Robert Perry
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Lloyds Banking Group last night apologised after many Bank of Scotland customers were unable to withdraw money from cashpoints or pay for goods with their debit cards.

The group said the problem, which also affected customers at Lloyds, Halifax and TSB, had first been raised yesterday afternoon.

Some customers were unable to complete transactions involving debit cards between 3pm and 6pm, a spokeswoman said, and half of the company’s ATMs had been affected by problems.

The spokeswoman added: “Although the majority of transactions were unaffected, we are very sorry for the inconvenience that this will have caused.

“At the same time, some customers encountered problems at approximately half of our 7,000 ATMs. This was resolved by 7.30pm, and all of our ATMs are now working.”

Online and telephone banking were unaffected by the issues, and customers were still able to withdraw cash from other ATMs. The banks collectively have 30 million account holders in the UK.

TSB chief executive Paul Pester said earlier that two of the seven servers that process TSB debit card payments had suffered problems, affecting about a quarter of card transactions.

Mr Pester took to Twitter to respond to customer complaints saying: “My apologies to TSB customers having problems with their cards. I’m working hard with my team now to try to fix the problems.” TSB, which operates as a separate business within the group, also issued a statement saying: “We are aware that some TSB customers are unable to use their debit cards either to make purchases or to withdraw money from ATMs.

“This has impacted all Lloyds Banking Group brands. We are working hard to resolve this and unreservedly apologise for any inconvenience caused.”

Lloyds customer service said the problem affected debit cards and not credit cards.

Customers took to Twitter to express their anger. One TSB customer Nicky Kate said: “Really embarrassed to get my card declined while out shopping, never had any problems with Lloyds then they changed my account.”

Hannah Smith said: “I am a TSB customer with a Lloyds card still (like everyone else). And I’ve been embarrassed three times today re: card declined.”

Another customer Julia Abbott ‏said: “Lloyds bank atm and card service down. 20 mins on hold to be told this. Nothing even on website. Shoddy Lloyds. . . . shoddy.

Sam, a restaurant waiter, said he had served a couple of customers who were affected. “Of course, they didn’t know what the problem was and neither did we,” he said.

“It’s a big nuisance and causes delays for other customers.”

UK banks have suffered a series of IT problems over the past few years. In December, an estimated 750,000 customers at the Royal Bank of Scotland group were unable to use their credit and debit cards for several hours following an IT glitch. In 2012, a major IT failure locked many RBS, NatWest and Ulster Bank customers out of their accounts for several days, with Ulster Bank customers facing access problems for weeks.