ATM gets Xmas spirit until bank turns Scrooge

22nd December 2005, Comments 0 comments

LILLE, France, Dec 22 (AFP) - An unexpectedly generous ATM in northern France that spat out EUR 50 notes instead of 20s caused a pre-Christmas rush by customers this week — though their glee was quickly cut short by the bank, which proved itself more Scrooge than Santa.

LILLE, France, Dec 22 (AFP) - An unexpectedly generous ATM in northern France that spat out EUR 50 notes instead of 20s caused a pre-Christmas rush by customers this week — though their glee was quickly cut short by the bank, which proved itself more Scrooge than Santa.

The Caisse d'Epargne in the town of Carvin said it sent letters Thursday to the dozens of people who withdrew money from the machine over the two-hour period Tuesday when it malfunctioned, asking for the difference to be reimbursed.

"With bank cards, we have the ability to track all of the clients by computer," bank spokesman Gonzague Mannessiez told AFP.

The error was caused by a stack of EUR 50 notes being placed in the slot meant for EUR 20 notes when the machine was filled, the bank said.

The owner of a bar close to the ATM said the mistake caused "euphoria" in the town, with 50 people immediately lining up to take advantage after one customer discovered the largesse, and more rushing in.

Police, eventually alerted by the persistent crowd, closed access to the cash machine and the bank began the process of recovering its undisclosed loss.

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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