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BOI suggests it won't charge interest to customers who withdrew extra cash during IT glitch

Large queues formed at ATMs across the country yesterday evening after rumours spread that people were able to withdraw more money than they had available in their BOI accounts.

LAST UPDATE | 16 Aug 2023

BANK OF IRELAND has said there will be “no customer detriment in relation to interest” for those who withdrew money from their accounts following a glitch with BOI’s online services.

When asked if customers who withdrew money they didn’t have from their accounts would be subject to interest rates or unauthorised overdraft fees, a BOI spokesperson said: “There will be no customer detriment in relation to interest in that scenario.”

In a separate statement this morning, BOI said it “fell far below” the expected standard following a widespread outage of its services yesterday.

BOI added that it restored its banking services overnight and apologised for the disruption caused following the glitch with BOI’s online services.

Large queues formed at ATMs across the country yesterday evening after rumours spread online that people were able to withdraw more money than they had available in their BOI accounts.

The Central Bank has also confirmed that it is ”monitoring the situation”.

“We are engaging with Bank of Ireland to ensure that any issues and errors identified are resolved for customers, and that it is doing all it can to ensure customers expectation of a high quality, uninterrupted service is met,” said a Central Bank spokesperson. 

The Central Bank advised customers to contact Bank of Ireland in the first instance if they have concerns about their service. 

Gardaí in numerous locations across the country were deployed to ATMs, with a garda spokesperson telling The Journal today that their direction was to ensure public order and public safety after becoming aware of large queues forming and an issue at a financial institution. 

The bank said this morning that its mobile banking app and 365Online service are working again. 

BOI also said this morning that all services should be available to its customers this morning and that overnight payments may appear in customers’ accounts today.

The statement said: “Yesterday a technical issue impacted a number of Bank of Ireland’s services. Our teams restored these services overnight and all services are available to customers this morning. Overnight payments to accounts may appear throughout the day.

“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.”

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

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

As queues formed at ATMs, it is understood that Gardaí were handling the queues at ATMs across the country on a case-by-case basis overnight.

Gardaí began to clear people from some ATMs on foot of information from Garda command and control centres in a number of regions. 

In some instances, they blocked access to ATMs, with images online showing members stationed outside bank machines.

While gardaí deny that there was any national directive, there were calls from command and control centres in at least three regions which led to gardaí dispersing queues and restricting access at some ATMs. A spokesperson for An Garda Síochána insisted those decisions were taken locally and on a case-by-case basis.

It is unclear how many ATMs were subject to garda patrols last night. It is understood the first call came through the Galway command and control centre in the Western Region, before similar information being given to stations in other regions. 

The Journal understands that the call from command and control in Cork led to deployments across some locations in at least one other county in Munster. 

Amid the late-night actions yesterday, a garda spokesperson said An Garda Síochána wanted to “remind people of their personal responsibility in carrying out their personal banking”.

The added: “An Garda Síochána are aware of an unusual volume of activity at some ATM machines across the country.

“An Garda Síochána are also aware of issues relating to certain financial institutions today.

“An Garda Síochána will remind people of their personal responsibility in carrying out their personal banking.”

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