The error, which was caused by a hardware failure with two out of Lloyds Banking Group’s seven IT servers, shut down approximately 3,500 ATMs between 3pm and 6pm on Sunday 26th January, while customers found that their debit cards were not accepted as payments. As a result, some people were stranded without any cash and no way to pay for goods or services. One British woman spoke to BBC Radio 5 Live this morning, explaining that she had to contact her parents to be bailed out at a petrol station after finding herself unable to go anywhere without buying fuel.
Lloyds Banking Group has apologised to those affected and confirmed that the technical issue has been fixed.
“My apologies to TSB customers having problems with their cards,” tweeted TSB CEO Paul Pester at 5.32pm. “I’m working hard with my team now to try to fix the problems. PDP”
“We are working with our suppliers to understand what caused the hardware failure, but there is no evidence that it was as a result of an external intervention or attack on our systems,” a spokesperson told the BBC today.
“We continually review and update our systems as necessary and make significant investment to do this.”
Some experts have pointed to a trend in computer failures at UK banks, suggesting that oudated IT systems dating back decades should be replaced. Reuters reports that the FCA is currently scrutinising banks’ technology systems to address these concerns.
TechUK, a trade body for technology companies, commented: “It is now widely acknowledged that the technology infrastructure across many financial institutions is exceptionally complex, to the point where it no longer serves many banks, it hinders them.
“However many financial institutions are unable to address these issues because of the sheer cost and disruption that replacing these systems would entail.”
Online customers were reportedly unaffected by the problems.