Wednesday 1 January 2020 1:44 pm

Lloyds, Halifax and Bank of Scotland customers locked out of accounts

Some customers of Lloyds, Halifax and Bank of Scotland were left unable to access their accounts on New Year’s day after Lloyds Bank suffered an outage.

The issue left many customers exasperated, coming on New Year’s Day, a public holiday when bank branches are closed. Across its platforms, Lloyds group has around nine million online customers.

Read more: Watchdogs propose tougher rules to limit banking services glitches

Lloyds Bank said on Twitter shortly before 1pm that the problem was solved. “Internet and Mobile banking is now back to normal. We’re sorry for the issues with it this morning,” the lender tweeted.

IT problems have troubled British banks in recent years, causing regulators to propose tougher rules to limit the disruption to customers.

MPs called for regulatory changes in October after repeated technological failures by lenders such as TSB, Visa, Barclays and RBS.

In the most high-profile outage, customers of TSB suffered weeks of disruption in 2018 due to an IT failure. The issue ultimately forced its chief executive, Paul Pester, to resign.

Last month, UK regulators proposed new rules to make banks and payment firms more resilient to major problems.

The Bank of England (BoE) and the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) proposed that banks and payment firms should have to identify their most important businesses and set the maximum level of disruption they would accept.

Read more: TSB to close dozens of branches in cost-cutting plan

They would then have to lay out backup plans to make sure any disruption stays within these bounds.

FCA chief Andrew Bailey said at the time: “Disruptive events can have a high impact on consumers and businesses so firms and financial market infrastructures need to know where the risks to their service delivery lie and to make sure that they are prepared for any service disruption by testing their planned response.”