‘I left Smile Bank today due to the ongoing outage’

Smile Bank customers have been unable to access their online banking accounts for five days in a row.

The online-only bank, owned by Co-Operative Bank, said it was working urgently to resolve the problem.

But the latest service outage proved to be the “last straw” for longtime customer Emma Hopkinson-Spark.

After 16 years, she left Smile Bank on Friday after she was unable to view a crucial re-mortgage payment.

“I’m really disappointed in Smile Bank,” Ms Hopkinson-Spark, chief of staff at a tech consultancy business in Weston-super-Mare, told the BBC. “The outages this week were the tipping point.”

Ms Hopkinson-Spark said she had not been able to access her online banking account for several days. Although she can still withdraw money from cash machines and pay for items using her debit card, she cannot send payments or view her payments.

“Yesterday my husband rang me in a flap saying he

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‘It’s really bad. I’m left with nothing’

Dawn Guilfoyle is one of thousands who have been barred from using their cash cards because of the failure of huge German payments firm Wirecard.

“It’s really bad. I’m left with nothing,” she says. “Once the gas goes off, I’ll have none for cooking or hot water.”

Ms Guilfoyle’s card, from the online firm Pockit, has been frozen because the UK financial regulator, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) wants to make sure the money is safe.

It is one of dozens of payment cards and foreign currency cards which have been blocked, because they used a payment processing service owned by Wirecard.

Wirecard’s UK arm insisted the problem was “temporary” and progress was being made.

Many of Pockit’s hundreds of thousands of customers have their benefits paid into the card account, which is easier to open than a bank account.

No timeframe

Ms Guilfoyle, a single mother from Poplar, in

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