Santander has apologised after the bank’s telephone, branch, online and card services all experienced major issues on Saturday, leaving customers unable to access accounts or even buy food at the supermarket.
Santander‘s mobile app and ATMs also had problems for several hours, as the bank worked to identify the technical difficulties responsible.
Consumer organisation Which? said some people had reported not being able to buy food at the supermarket and customers also vented their frustration on social media.
First acknowledgment of the problems from Santander’s Twitter account came on Saturday morning.
A tweet said: "We’re currently aware of an issue affecting our services and we’re working hard to resolve the matter as soon as possible. We are sorry for any inconvenience."
Follow-ups at around 2pm and 3pm said: "We’re sorry that a technical problem is affecting our services, our teams are working hard to fix it. You can access cash from other banks’ ATMs. Please check back here for further updates."
Eventually, the bank said in a statement on Saturday evening that "key services" were "coming back on stream".
A spokesperson added: "We continue to work on full recovery by the end of the day. We sincerely apologise for any inconvenience caused.
"No one will be out of pocket and from Monday we will make available via our website and social media channels details of how impacted customers can make a claim."
Many speculated on social media that planned maintenance, due to be carried out on the Santander mobile banking app overnight on Friday and confirmed on its website, was behind Saturday’s problems.
It is unclear how many customers were affected.
Santander has around 14.3 million customers in the UK, according to its website, 6.3 million of whom use the bank’s digital services. Its mobile app is said to welcome 1,600 new active users per day.
In March, the company announced it is closing 111 branches due to customers’ preference for online banking.