Tesco Bank has been forced to apologise after a hack attack on its online systems has seen up to 20,000 current accounts emptied by fraudsters, with some losing thousands of pounds.
Over the weekend, customers complained about money being withdrawn without permission, cards being blocked and long delays to get through to the bank on the phone.
One customer Tweeted that the problems meant she would be “unable to feed my kids in school tomorrow”.
About 40,000 accounts saw suspicious transactions over the weekend, of which half had money taken, confirming some accounts “have been subject to online criminal activity, in some cases resulting in money being withdrawn fraudulently”.
This has forced the bank to temporary halt online payments. Customers will still be able to use their cards for cash withdrawals, chip and pin payments, and bill payments and can also check balances online banking.
Chief executive Benny Higgins apologised for the “worry and inconvenience” that customers have faced and told the BBC he was “very hopeful” customers would be refunded within 24 hours.
He added: “We continue to work with the authorities and regulators to address the fraud and will keep our customers informed through regular updates on our website, Twitter, and direct communication.”