Customers locked out of bank sites

Customers of First Direct and Lloyds TSB have been blocked from their online accounts today – and the London Stock Exchange was suspended this morning – after “server issues” brought banking to a halt.
The downtime highlights the vulnerability of the UK banking sector to technical failure, and exposes just how fragile the systems are.
The site of HSBC-owned online and phone bank First Direct has been disrupted all day, displaying the message: “Sorry… This service is currently unavailable”, although it did provide a phone number customers could call.
Meanwhile, Lloyds TSB’s online banking service has also been hit, with customers being told: “We’re sorry. Internet Banking is currently unavailable. Please try again later. Sorry for any inconvenience this may cause.”
The problems come on the last Friday of the month – traditionally payday for many workers – when most people go online to check their salaries and start paying bills.
Earlier today the London Stock Exchange suffered a major systems failure, which closed it for business this morning.
At 8.03 this morning the market was paused as technical problems became clear, by 8.33am trading was halted.
Continuous trading restarted at 12.15 this afternoon. The LSE said it had identified the source of the problem and “gained confidence in the remedial steps needed to restore market connectivity”.
Xavier Rolet, chief executive of the London Stock Exchange Group, said: “We sincerely regret the inconvenience that today’s disruption to trading has caused our customers. We have resolved the realtime data dissemination issue and our UK cash equity markets have now resumed trading.”

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