The ATM that doubles your money

Police were called to restore calm after an ATM began to give out twice the amount of money customers were requesting. Photo /AFP
Police were called to restore calm after an ATM began to give out twice the amount of money customers were requesting. Photo /AFP

Police were called to restore calm in eastern England after a cash machine started dispensing twice the money its customers were asking for.

The Lloyds TSB cash machine in Ipswich began dispensing "free money" to customers Wednesday after the bank branch had closed for the evening.

As word of the fault spread, a crowd began to gather, prompting arguments among those trying to use the faulty machine.

Police were called in to keep watch until the bank's staff could take the machine out of service.

A Lloyds' spokesman said the machine had been "misdispensing" cash for only a "short time". The spokesman added: "We apologise for any inconvenience caused."

Some 30 people are thought to have benefitted from the glitch.

It is not clear how much money the bank lost, or if it will be able to recover the funds.

Emma Hutchinson, from Ipswich, told the Ipswich Star: "Word got around pretty quickly. My friend asked for £40 and the machine gave out £80."

She told the newspaper that she went to see if the rumour was true but decided not to withdraw any money herself.

Lloyds Banking Group, which had to be bailed out by the British government to the tune of £21 billion at the height of the global financial crisis, said in a results statement Thursday that it had cut interim net losses to £676 million on the back of restructuring measures.

Responding to reports of the faulty Lloyds cash machine, one Twitter user, @FizzySparkler, commented: "Nice to see one bank is giving back."

- AFP

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