Commonwealth Bank customers were affected by an unusual problem yesterday (April 18th 2011), as a number of ATMs across Australia broke down.The incident meant some of those with and with the financial institution were left without access to cash, while others could not view their updated balance, Business Day reported.Another consequence of the malfunction was that consumers were able to withdraw a maximum of only $300.However, the issue was resolved by 10:00 local time, meaning customers were affected for just a short period.Explaining the episode, a bank statement read: “Some overnight essential maintenance was performed, it took a little longer than anticipated and, while we bring our systems back on line, ATMs and point of sale [terminals] were put into limited stand-in mode.”This comes less than two months after the Commonwealth Bank suffered a similar problem.On that occasion, an error in the system resulted in ATMs for Australian banking users being put into a standby mode – not unlike the one experienced yesterday.However, instead of limiting cash withdrawers to $300, the machines then allowed people to take out more money than they had in their bank accounts.And its industry rival National Australia Bank has also been involved in difficulties in recent times, as its payment system last week shut down, meaning customers were left without their scheduled finances.In that case, the organisation decided to open branches over the weekend to ease the problem and satisfy consumers.Earlier this year, in the aftermath of the floods that hit New South Wales, the Commonwealth Bank launched a special emergency assistance package for people affected by the natural disaster.It offered to provide support and expertise to customers with financial concerns following the flooding, including the opportunity to restructure loans and waive branch service fees.Meanwhile, according to research by pollster Roy Morgan the Commonwealth Bank has fallen below all three of its major rivals on the customer satisfaction scoreboard for the first time in 3 years, behind ANZ, Westpac and National Australia Bank as the fallout from its aggressive rate rise seen in November continues.
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