BANK of Ireland has begun refunding €3 million to customers who failed to take their money from the ATM machines they were using when making a cash withdrawal.
It emerged that during a four-year period ending in October 2009, Bank of Ireland ATM users who completed a transaction but left their cash and/or card behind in the machine, had their account debited for the withdrawal amount.
A spokesperson for Bank of Ireland confirmed that the bank has already refunded €1.3m to 14,000 Bank of Ireland customers that were affected, and that a further €1.7m in refunds to 29,000 non-Bank of Ireland customers will be distributed through their own banks as soon as possible.
They added: “The process of reimbursement will be completed over the coming weeks and customers who have any concerns should contact the Bank of Ireland help line or their local branch.
“Non-Bank of Ireland customers should raise any queries directly with their own bank.”
The issue was discovered during internal monitoring where it was found that the installation of anti-fraud measures had resulted in the normal system response of automatically prompting a refund had not occurred for those particular transactions.
Bank of Ireland have issued an apology for the error and said they wish to reassure all cardholders who use Bank of Ireland ATMs that since October 2009 procedures for handling incomplete transactions have been enhanced.
A spokesperson for the Financial Regulator said Bank of Ireland notified the Financial Regulator of the error and efforts have been put in place to ensure that all customers will be fully reimbursed.
They added that the Financial Regulator expects all firms to have appropriate systems and controls in place to prevent errors, or rectify them quickly and efficiently when they do occur.
Bank of Ireland said that about six people per ATM machine per year walk away without taking their cash or bank card.
Bank of Ireland dispenses approximately €16.6 billion through its ATMs every year.
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