Santander customers have reported being shut out of their bank accounts when trying to access online banking services on Saturday. 

The bank, which has 14 million customers in the UK, has apologised for a technical issue that has made it impossible to access the app or online banking site, leaving many unable to make card payments. 

The glitch is also affecting branch and telephone services, with customers protesting they cannot reach support services. 

Many have taken to Twitter to express their frustration at the situation, with people stuck in restaurants and shops and unable to use their cards.

Others have been left with no access to their funds since the glitch is preventing customers from transferring money from their savings into their main account. 

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Santander has not provided a time scale for resolving the problem and advised customers on Twitter to withdraw cash from other banks or post offices. 

It 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.”

Gareth Shaw, Head of Money at Which?, said: “These technical issues will be causing stress for many Santander customers – with people reporting that they have been unable to make online payments or in some cases purchase food in their local supermarket.  

“Customers can incur fines, penalties and fees when they’re not able to access their finances, so the bank must offer compensation to all those who have been impacted in this way.

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“These problems demonstrate why it is vital that banks invest to ensure their systems are up to the task of protecting their customers’ accounts and maintaining the services they rely on.”