Co-op Bank customers voice anger as business payments taken twice

Estimated read time 2 min read

Co-operative Bank customers have hit out at the lender after a glitch led to payments being taken twice from some business accounts.

Customers said they had been pushed into their overdrafts because of the problem, which has resulted in previous payments, sometimes made several weeks before, being duplicated.

One business owner said on social media that they had been left “almost £5,000 down”, while another claimed they had only realised that money had been taken when they could not buy petrol. Others have complained that the incident has meant they have been unable to buy supplies and run their businesses.

A spokesperson for the bank apologised to customers raising the issue on X, formerly Twitter, telling them: “Our business team are aware of the duplicate historical transactions and they’re working to refund them as quickly as possible.”

Co-op Bank told the BBC an internal system issue had led to historical payments being duplicated for a small number of business account holders, and that it was working to correct the issue.

The Co-op Bank has almost 5 million customers, including 95,000 accounts for small and medium-sized businesses. The Guardian has contacted the Co-op to ask how many customers have been affected.

After the incident, other customers took to social media to complain that they had been stuck on hold to the bank’s support line for long periods.

One social media user posted on X: “You’ve destroyed my working day due to this, I’ve ended up stranded at a van hire office for two hours, having been stuck on hold on the phone to you for over an hour, with no pick up.”

Another business tweeted on Tuesday night: “A full 24 hours in and account still in debit, not a single update, business not able to pay suppliers, I’m using my personal account to get by, this is very poor service indeed.”

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Despite apologising on its X account, the company’s website did not have any details about the problem.

The news comes a month after Coventry Building Society said it would buy the bank from its hedge fund owners in a deal worth £780m. Coventry said that this could result in the Co-op Bank brand disappearing in several years.

In March Co-op announced that it would look to cut 400 jobs in a bid to cut costs and restructure the business.


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