Chaos at ATMs and shops as cards rejected

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Halifax and Lloyds TSB customers had their cards rejected and were left unable to use some ATMs yesterday.

Some customers had to leave shopping behind while others said they had been left unable to access bank accounts.

Lloyds and Halifax are part of the same banking group. A Halifax spokeswoman said the hitches were the result of a “systems failure”, which had affected telephone systems as well as ATMs and online services. She said they were back up working yesterday.

Shopper Marc Dewhurst said he was in Meadowhall centre in Sheffield when his Halifax card was declined, despite him having the cash in his account.

He said: “Luckily I had just taken £50 out of a cash machine. I went round to the Halifax and saw people shouting at the staff.”

An IT meltdown over the summer saw accounts of NatWest, Ulster Bank and Royal Bank of Scotland badly affected for weeks.