Bank of Ireland ATM Glitch Hands Out ‘Free’ Money

Bank of Ireland ATM Glitch Hands Out ‘Free’ Money

People queued up outside the Bank of Ireland on Tuesday after a glitch in the system appeared to allow customers to withdraw money without affecting their balance. The bank, which is one of the largest in Ireland, acknowledged the glitch on Wednesday, saying the issue had been resolved, but only after customers had rushed to withdraw funds, prompting a police presence outside ATMs throughout the country.

Customers first noticed the problem on Tuesday afternoon when they reported that they weren’t able to access their online banking services and were therefore unable to transfer money or pay for transactions. But the problems didn’t stop there as customers quickly realized they could withdraw money exceeding what they had in their accounts, despite the Bank of Ireland’s warnings against it.

“We would like to remind customers if transferring/withdrawing funds-including over normal limits-this money will be debited from their account,” the Bank of Ireland cautioned in a Twitter post on Tuesday evening. “We are conscious customers may not be able to check balances, but should not withdraw/transfer if they are likely to become overdrawn.”

However, some customers reported being able to withdraw upwards of €1,000 and transfer it into Revolut, a digital online bank account similar to Venmo or PayPal, according to The Irish Times. The Bank of Ireland told the outlet the “volume of transactions conducted last night wouldn’t be a significant proportion of our overall transactions volumes through an average day.”

Gardaí (Irish police) told the BBC they were informed of an “unusual volume of activity” at some ATMs across the country, including “issues relating to certain financial institutions.” They told The Irish Times they had focused on patrolling ATMs where “public safety” and “public order” were of concern.

The technical issue had been resolved overnight, a Bank of Ireland spokesperson said in an emailed statement to Gizmodo. He confirmed that customers will see overnight payments appearing on their accounts throughout the day, including customers’ accounts that had been overdrawn.

“We are aware that the technical issue meant some customers were able to withdraw or transfer funds above their normal limits. These transfers and withdrawals will be applied to customers’ accounts today,” the spokesperson said. “We urge any customer who may find themselves in financial difficulty due to overdrawing on their account to contact us.”

He added, “We sincerely apologize for the disruption this outage caused – we know we fell far below the standards our customers expect from us.”

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