Free money offered by Barclays

28 April 2004
The residents of Wooler, Northumberland, are celebrating after benefiting from a cash machine error that allowed customers to receive twice the amount requested.

The faulty cash machine distributed an estimated £65,000 last Wednesday before Barclays was able to put a stop to it, but the bank confirmed it would not be asking customers for its money back.

Queues stretched along the village high street after the news spread and neighbouring communities flocked to help empty the machine.

The local pub enjoyed the "busiest night in living memory", according to regulars, while some astute customers realised they could return to the cash machine after midnight, as it was a new banking day.

The error is thought to have occurred after staff at Securicor loaded a cassette of £20 notes instead of £10 into the ATM. Barclays blamed a "third party error" and confirmed that it wouldn't pursue the matter with customers.

"We know who took money out of the ATM* but can't pinpoint which ones have had too much money so we won't be asking for our money back," a spokesperson said.