The Times, London

27th March, 1997

by Robert Miller, Banking Correspondent

Employees face Easter without pay

HUNDREDS of thousands of workers face the Easter holidays without their pay after a banking system crashed.

Bacs, the central clearing system operated on behalf of banks and building societies, said last night that customers affected "may have a cash-machine transaction refused, or could experience difficulties with debit-card usage".

Thousands of companies use Bacs to transmit pay instructions. The deadline for wage instructions to be implemented before the Good Friday and Easter Monday holidays was Tuesday evening, when the system crashed.

The Association for Payment Clearing Services said that there was no way of knowing how many accounts had been hit. A spokesman admitted: "A number of customers' accounts may not be credited with salary or wage payments ... charges will not be levied for any inadvertent overdrafts which might occur."

© Copyright The Times Newspapers Ltd 1997