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Bank of Ireland fixes ‘free money’ glitch after ATM rush – DW – 08/16/2023

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An IT glitch allowed Bank of Ireland customers to overdraw cash from ATMs, but the issue has since been fixed, bank officials said on Wednesday.

According to Irish media, the bank’s clients were able to take out up to €1,000 ($1,009) over their account balance on Tuesday. Social media users spread news of the glitch, leading to long lines at ATMs across the country.

A man waiting in line in Dublin told the Irish Times newspaper that he heard about the issue online.

“I don’t know if I’ll get away with it, but it’s worth a shot,” he said.

The glitch apparently affected ATMs, the bank’s online portal and its digital app. Even customers with no money and a low account balance were able to transfer up to €1,000 into a linked account on banking apps such as Revolut, and then use their Revolut cards to withdraw the money.

Bank urges clients in ‘financial difficulty’ to contact them

Police officers were deployed in some parts of the country to maintain order, although a police spokesman said the deployments were decided on a “case-to-case basis.”

In turn, the bank said it had contacted authorities but did not request that police be stationed at its ATMs.

By Wednesday morning, the bank said the glitch was fixed.

The bank also warned clients that the transactions would be debited from accounts and may affect users’ debit ratings.

“These transfers and withdrawals will be applied to customers’ accounts today,” the lender said.

“We urge any customer who may find themselves in financial difficulty due to overdrawing on their account to contact us.”

Police deployment ‘unnerving’

Some experts have pointed to the glitch as further proof of the bank needing to improve its IT system. The Central Bank of Ireland has previously fined the lender over IT gaps.

Following the latest glitch, the central bank said it was monitoring the situation and working with the bank to “ensure that any issues and errors identified are resolved.”

The country’s Finance Ministry asked the central bank to establish a full account of the events.

Meanwhile, Ireland’s opposition Labour party criticized the police deployment prompted by the glitch.

“There is something unnerving about the Gardai being involved in protecting (Bank of Ireland) ATMs last night,” Labour justice spokesman Aodhan O Riordain said.

dj/nm (dpa, Reuters)

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