(Sky News): Tesco Bank has temporarily suspended all online transactions from current account customers as an emergency security measure
, after its chief executive confirmed the service had fallen victim to an online hacking attack.
Current account customers will still be able to use their cards for cash withdrawals, chip and pin payments, and all existing bill payments and direct debits will continue as normal.
CEO Benny Higgins said some current accounts were subjected to "online criminal activity" over the weekend, with "some cases" resulting in money being withdrawn fraudulently.
Earlier, the bank blocked some customers' cards after "suspicious activity" was detected on its fraud prevention system.
Some customers tweeted that hundreds of pounds had disappeared from their accounts, with one saying the problems meant she would be "unable to feed my kids in school tomorrow".
Mr Higgins said: "We apologise for the worry and inconvenience that this has caused for customers, and can only stress that we are taking every step to protect our customers' accounts."
He also sought to reassure customers that Tesco Bank will "ensure they do not lose out financially" and accounts will be refunded "as soon as possible".
The bank said it is working with authorities and regulators to address the circumstances surrounding the security breach.
Thousands of accounts were reportedly affected after fraudsters targeted the bank's clients, with customers taking to social media to alert the bank.
However, many customers posting on the Tesco Bank website were angry with length of time they were kept waiting when they called.
"Now (NYSE: DNOW - news) on my second attempt at contact by phone, 10 minutes was unacceptable but this time 54 minutes and counting is a serious failure and almost unbelievable," spidey500 wrote.
"Attempting to log any sort of complaint is virtually impossible despite the platitudes on the main website about making it easy to complain."
Andyg wrote: "At least you now acknowledge there is a problem.
"I followed your instructions and after 3 hours was able to speak to someone ... who wasn't able to help and just took my name and phone number for someone to call back. No idea when that will be."
Another customer, Inchindown, wrote: "Because of your failure to be open about this, I have moved all of the money in my tesco current account to another bank. It will remain there until you sort this out.
"If you still want me as a customer please sort this fast and start getting more information out so that customers can understand what's going on."
Tesco Bank has 7.8 million customer accounts.
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