Technical Glitch Turns Into Brief Windfall for Customers of Irish Bank

Technical Glitch Turns Into Brief Windfall for Customers of Irish Bank

For some customers at the Bank of Ireland, it was a windfall too good to be true.

The bank, one of Ireland’s largest, acknowledged on Wednesday that a “technical issue” with its online banking services had allowed some customers to withdraw more money than they had in their accounts, prompting the authorities to monitor crowds after long lines formed at some A.T. M.s around the country.

The problems began on Tuesday, after some Bank of Ireland customers complained that they could not access online banking services, leaving them unable to pay for transactions or transfer money.

But the technical glitch also allowed customers to transfer or withdraw funds without affecting their overall balance, the bank said, and some people apparently seized on the opportunity to take out money they did not have.

Crowds began to gather around some Bank of Ireland A.T.M.s, according to footage circulating online and chatter on social media, even as the bank warned people not to overdraw their accounts.

There was an “unusual volume of activity” at several machines in Dublin and elsewhere, the Irish police said, adding that officers were deployed to provide security near some of the machines for what they said were public safety and order reasons.

“We are aware that the technical issue meant some customers were able to withdraw or transfer funds above their normal limits,” the bank said in a statement on Wednesday apologizing for the outages.

Any transfers and withdrawals would appear on accounts that day, the bank said, and services were restored overnight. “We urge any customer who may find themselves in financial difficulty due to overdrawing on their account to contact us,” the statement said.

The technical issues, according to local media outlets, meant that some customers were able to transfer large amounts — some reports put the figure at 1,000 euros, or about $1,092 — to an account with another bank, without their bank balances recording the transaction, and then withdraw the amount in cash.

In an apparent nod to the reports, the Irish police reminded people of their “personal responsibility” for their finances.

Headquartered in Dublin, the Bank of Ireland is among the oldest financial institutions in the country, and opened Ireland’s first A.T.M. in 1980.