Lloyds Banking Group suffers hours-long online outage

FILE PHOTO: People walk past a branch of Lloyds Bank on Oxford Street in London, Britain July 28, 2016. REUTERS/Peter Nicholls/File Photo

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain’s Lloyds Banking Group (LLOY.L) suffered an outage on Wednesday that left customers of its Lloyds, Halifax and Bank of Scotland operations unable to access accounts online for several hours.

Disruption to online services is a periodic problem for Britain’s banks, and last month regulators told lenders they needed to resolve problems more swiftly.

Customers of Lloyds Banking Group said on social media that they were unable to use mobile apps or websites to access their accounts since early morning on New Year’s Day, a public holiday when bank branches are shut.

The problem took a number of hours to fix, though account holders were able to use telephone banking services and cash machines in the mean time.

“Internet and mobile banking is now back to normal. We’re sorry for the issues with it this morning,” Lloyds Bank said in a statement. Halifax and Bank of Scotland said the same thing.

Customers of TSB, a lender owned by Spain’s Sabadell (SABE.MC), suffered weeks of disruption in 2018 due to an IT failure that drew criticism from parliament and regulators and ultimately forced its chief executive, Paul Pester, to resign.

Reporting by David Milliken; Editing by Angus MacSwan and Andrew Cawthorne

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