Bank of Ireland ATM and online systems fail

Automatic teller machine (ATM) Customers have been unable to use the bank's cash machines

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One of the Irish Republic's biggest banks has issued an apology to customers after a systems failure meant that, for a time, they were unable to access their cash accounts.

Bank of Ireland said it became aware at 1000 GMT on Tuesday that ATMs were not working and customers were unable to make online transactions.

People with Post Office savings accounts in the UK were also affected.

A spokesperson said the fault had been largely rectified.

However, the amount of cash that can be withdrawn via ATMs may be restricted.

In a statement, the bank confirmed that "an unforeseen technical issue" had hit in-branch and online banking systems.

The bank confirmed that all of its branches were open, although some debit cards might be unable to conduct point of sale transactions.

A Post Office spokesman said that its customers - who had products managed by the Bank of Ireland, also experienced disruption.

"Post Office Instant Saver account customers experienced a temporary problem this morning when attempting to access their accounts at ATMs and branches," he said.

"There remain some difficulties with online access to some of our savings products but this is not due to Post Office systems and the Post Office website itself is unaffected. We anticipate resolution to the difficulties shortly and apologise to any of our customers who have been affected."

Bank of Ireland has 44 branches throughout Northern Ireland.

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