Cash "Vanishes" From Bank Accounts

Cash "Vanishes" From Bank Accounts In Ireland

- Emergency cash offered by Ulster Bank as cash vanishes from accounts
- Bank makes €500 available to customers whose deposits vanish
- Bank investigates after hundreds of complaints on social media
- “My salary has disappeared from my account today and my wife had her card declined when trying to pay for a GP visit and medication"
- Cyber attacks and Brexit are biggest threats to the securities, insurance and banking  sectors

- Exposes risks posed to cash deposits in age of hacking, cyber fraud and terrorism
- Conclusion: Take some of your savings and wealth off line?

Editor: Mark O'Byrne

Your money in your bank account can vanish. That is the lesson from yesterday's enormous screw-up by Ulster Bank that saw payments and bank account balances suddenly vanish.

Customers were left out of pocket and struggling for funds. Payments including salaries were not made, cards were declined and customers were unable to pay for urgent goods and services.

Ulster Bank has blamed the issue on 'human error' and claims this morning that the issue has been rectified. Although it has taken some customers four days to be able to make urgent payments.

This was a weekend of bank 'errors'. In the UK, TSB faced a 'meltdown' after scheduled IT maintenance went somewhat awry. Many customers found themselves unable to access their accounts, whilst some even had access to other peoples' money.

The fallout will last for some time. We have all fallen victim to bank charges at some point or another - whether for missed direct debits or unauthorised overdraft charges.

Lets hope that the onus will not be on the customers to prove that it is not their fault that their account and their balances are not what they should be. Credit scores and ratings could be damaged and relationships with individuals' creditors may be impacted.

Rather than be seen as an inconvenience for customers, bank users everywhere should see this as a reminder that 'money' in the form of digital pounds, euros, dollars and other fiat currencies can just 'disappear' whether due to human error or more nefarious causes such as hacking.

We might have mentioned this might happen

This weekend's 'magic money moments' in both Ireland and the UK are the most recent example of something we have long discussed - cash in the bank is not your cash. You are an unsecured creditor and your cash can just disappear and there is very little you can do about it.

You can make a lot of noise on Twitter, Facebook and in the media and sometimes that may work but not with a lasting impact.

The customers of both Ulster Bank and TSB can rant on Twitter or shout down helplines all they like but legally they have very little rights when it comes to accessing their money.

This week politicians have enjoyed their soapbox moments, demanding investigations be done, apologies be made and new regulations to prevent this from happening again.

Sadly we all know that by the end of the week this news will be Friday night's kebab paper. Banking customers will have lost motivation and politicians will have found another righteous cause.

The simple fact is that banks hold far more power over the cash in your bank account than you or any other party.

Some will decide to change banks (guaranteed not as many as said they would) but it will be a difference in name only. Cash, savings and pensions will still be held in the inter-connected web that is the global financial and banking system and no one's rights will have improved.

From one bank to the next, the risks to cash still remain. Disappearing cash is a reality which will likely come to bank accounts everywhere with increasing frequency.


Listen on SoundCloud , Blubrry & iTunesWatch on YouTube below

Human error is less risky than increasing digital risks

Whilst it not might not feel like it to those inconvenienced this weekend, a banking problem caused by a fat-fingered or forgetful human is the best kind of problem a banking customer can have.

However these are rare compared to the number of malicious attacks from outside sources which are silent in their assaults and lengthy in their recovery time.

Banks are consistently playing catch-up to the potential threats that they face on an hour-by-hour basis. Last month financial watchdog FINMA warned Swiss banks that the biggest threat they face are cyber attacks. The threat is so great that Switzerland has been called upon to step up its national defence of cyber warfare.

KPMG UK's cyber defence unit have warned in a report which showed how unimpressive the UK's tactics and defences are in the facing these rising threats:

UK banks alone spent $360m on IT in 2016, but the report said approaches are often slow and constrained by regulation, while cyber criminals, who can operate beyond borders and the law, are constantly updating their methods.

This requires a quicker and more collaborative response, the report said. “Ultimately, the financial sector as a community needs to organise this itself.”

EU regulators agree that IT systems are slow and out of date. A report this month by the Joint Committee of the European Supervisory Authorities (ESAs) concluded that cyber security attacks are considered alongside Brexit as the biggest threat to the securities, banking and insurance sectors.

Many of us imagine hacking and malware to come courtesy of an under-socialised teenager who lives in his mother's spare bedroom. This is no longer the case. Sadly cyber-warfare is a growing business and one that is for hire.

Following sanctions on Russia and wildly flung accusations regarding poisoning and participation in chemical attacks many are now more concerned about cyber terror and war and the ability of all nation states to make life online a real misery.

EU regulations - more nefarious than the hackers?

After more than two decades of the internet most of us are vaguely aware of the threats it brings (although few do anything about it). What we have not accepted quite yet are the threats brought about by the very same people who are supposed to protect us - governments and regulators.

These two mega powers overshadow your savings as much (if not more so) than hackers and cyber war. Money can disappear courtesy of governments and regulators not because of human error or malware gone awry but because they have in recent years created laws that allow them to do so.

Bail-ins were approved just over two years ago. It effectively means that depositors' cash can be taken in order to prop up individual banks and the banking system. How much is taken, if it is returned to you and what access to funds you may soon be at the discretion of the banks and central banks who control the regulators.

Imagine waking up this weekend to find no money in your account. A quick check of the news and emails does not alert you to any problems with the bank's IT or of a malware attack or indeed of "human error".

Instead you are horrified to learn that your own government has sanctioned the taking of your savings some of which you need as your day-to-day living expenses.

Conclusion - Take some of your savings off line

The lesson here is that investors, savers and indeed companies should consider taking some of their hard earned savings and capital 'off line'.

It is nearly impossible to operate day-to-day without a bank account, but for the long-term you can certainly make sure your pension cash and savings are better protected from the number of risks which now face digital assets including digital deposits.

Physical gold that is allocated and segregated is about as out-of-the-system as you can get when it comes to investments and savings. Of course you can hide some cash under the mattress lor in a safe deposit box but even this is not safe from the decisions made on-high by central banks and governments.

Cash notes in your house are at risk of theft and cash notes in safe deposit boxes are at risk of theft as was seen in the Hatton Garden robbery and indeed raids by police on safe deposit box providers suspected of not running their companies in the safest of ways, not being AML compliant and of potentially aiding criminals. This happened with the Park Lane safe deposit box provider in 2008.

Cash is consistently losing value especially in this time of record low interest rates and indeed negative interest rates. Another risk is that cash notes can be deemed non-legal tender and new notes or coins can be created to simply replace those you hold.

When it comes to physical gold, it does not rely on your banks IT or having to comply with IT updates or indeed having the safest chip in your smartphone.

Gold is becoming more relevant today than ever before because of these risks. But it is specifically allocated, segregated physical gold which will protect from these risks – not paper gold, digital gold or platform gold.

Owning gold coins and bars either in one’s possession or in allocated and segregated storage will protect people and will be accessible, liquid and keenly priced in terms of premiums. It will protect investors and savers and those who use online banking from malicious attacks, 'human errors' and bank bail-ins.

The Ulster Bank debacle is the most recent example of this and it shows these risks are very real and not set to go away anytime soon.

Listen on SoundCloud , Blubrry & iTunesWatch on YouTube below

Recommended reading 

Cyber War Poses Risks To City of London and UK Banks


Spectre, Meltdown Highlight Online Banking and Digital Gold Risks


Massive Equifax Hack Shows Cyber Risk to Deposits and Investments Today


News and Commentary

Gold prices inch up as equities slide (

Asia Stocks Decline as Treasuries Extend Losses (

Gold snaps 3-day losing streak as stock-market selloff sparks haven demand (

Consumer confidence in April rebounds close to 18-year high (

Sales of New Homes in U.S. Advance to a Four-Month High (

Home prices surge to a near four-year high, Case-Shiller shows (

Source Doubleline via ABC

Something Big Is Happening... It's Getting Exciting - Gundlach On Gold (

DoubleLine's Gundlach says U.S. Treasuries 'not attractive' (

What To Do As Quantitative Easing Becomes Quantitative Tightening (

History: More Fake News (

What Hyperinflation In Venezuela Really Looks Like (


Listen on SoundCloud , Blubrry & iTunesWatch on YouTube below

Gold Prices (LBMA AM)

24 Apr: USD 1,327.35, GBP 951.84 & EUR 1,087.76 per ounce
23 Apr: USD 1,328.00, GBP 950.45 & EUR 1,085.64 per ounce
20 Apr: USD 1,340.15, GBP 953.52 & EUR 1,089.14 per ounce
19 Apr: USD 1,347.90, GBP 950.54 & EUR 1,090.59 per ounce
18 Apr: USD 1,346.55, GBP 949.59 & EUR 1,088.95 per ounce
17 Apr: USD 1,342.95, GBP 937.24 & EUR 1,084.57 per ounce
16 Apr: USD 1,344.40, GBP 941.21 & EUR 1,087.62 per ounce

Silver Prices (LBMA)

24 Apr: USD 16.60, GBP 11.90 & EUR 13.59 per ounce
23 Apr: USD 16.94, GBP 12.14 & EUR 13.85 per ounce
20 Apr: USD 17.11, GBP 12.15 & EUR 13.91 per ounce
19 Apr: USD 17.20, GBP 12.09 & EUR 13.91 per ounce
18 Apr: USD 16.95, GBP 11.93 & EUR 13.70 per ounce
17 Apr: USD 16.63, GBP 11.60 & EUR 13.44 per ounce
16 Apr: USD 16.60, GBP 11.61 & EUR 13.42 per ounce

Recent Market Updates

- Cash “Vanishes” From Bank Accounts In Ireland
- Russia Buys 300,000 Ounces Of Gold In March – Nears 2,000 Tons In Gold Reserves
- Family Offices and HNWs Invest In Gold Again
- New All Time Record Highs For Gold In 2019
- Palladium Bullion Surges 17% In 9 Days On Russian Supply Concerns
- Silver Bullion Remains Good Value On Positive Supply And Demand Factors
- London House Prices See Fastest Quarterly Fall Since 2009 Crisis
- Global Debt Bubble Hits New All Time High – One Quadrillion Reasons To Buy Gold
- Oil Surges Over 8%, Gold and Silver Marginally Higher, Stocks Gain In Volatile Week
- EU and Euro Exposed To Risks Including Trade Wars and War With Russia In Middle East
- Trump Tweets Russia “Get Ready” For Missiles In Syria – Gold, Oil Rise and Stocks Fall
- Private: EU and Euro Exposed To Trade Wars, Energy Dependence, Anti-EU and Anti-Euro Movements
- Trump Making ‘Major Decisions’ on Syria, Iran and Russia Response ‘Very Quickly’


ShorTed Truther Wed, 04/25/2018 - 12:43 Permalink

This article mentions "deposits" at banks.  Let's get clear on this point, when you put money into a commercial bank (US or EU) it becomes an unsecured liability of the bank.  Effectively you are making a loan to the bank (their liability is your asset).   So please understand, the money, once in the banks hands, IS NO LONGER YOUR MONEY.  You may have noticed that the "deposit slips" actually don't say DEPOSIT any longer.

In reply to by Truther

Lost in translation thisandthat Wed, 04/25/2018 - 20:11 Permalink

I despise the banks and am loathe to use them, but must share a recent experience concerning PM.

I wanted to sell 5 tubes of 2017 BU SAEs to my LCS owner.  To date he’s always paid a very competitive price for these and for Canadian SMLs, so I’ve kept both around for occasions when I’d like extra cash for travel and business.  We’ve had an excellent business relationship for many years, never a problem.

Until this week.

”I have truckloads of those right now, lots and lots of them.  Just way too many.  Maybe try somewhere else,” he told me when I called him up.

I am reconsidering my Ag/cash ratio, now...

In reply to by thisandthat

zimboe Conax Thu, 04/26/2018 - 00:23 Permalink

The money just kinda sorta "vanished"?

Is this not the definition of good old-fashioned "Theft"?


Same here in 'Murka.





(sorry left capslock on- too lazy to retype.)


Just ask Venefailians.

Lotsa cash, but no asswipe.

So use what works. It may be more valuable with shit smeared on it. At least it has some greater value as compost.


Maduro gonna bolt for Switzerland soon I thinx, iffen he's got any sense at all.

Hopefully, he then gets snatched at the airport, and then is gifted a lovely designer Gucci noose made of the softest most luxurious Egyptian cotton, and then spitted over the barbie ass-through-throat with a piece of rebar like a suckling pig.

Then, a free picnic for the people.


Skeptical, are yah now?

Iffen the poor V's will eat zoo animals in their desperation, they'll eat him.  Cuz' anything is edible with enough ketchup.

I'll gladly donate a case of Hienz 57 tomato ketchup to facilitate the just consumption of this greedy pig.

It's only karma-voriferous.


Heh. Heheh.


I hear giraffe is good eating.

Better than slow race-horses.*



*Stolen from P.J. O'Rourke.

In reply to by Conax

hedgeless_horseman Wed, 04/25/2018 - 12:22 Permalink


As I have mentioned here before, ECB banks have a paltry 1% reserve requirement.

This is supposed to mean that when Europe hits an iceberg, 99% of depositors are going swimming.

However, what it really means, is that Draghi will just continue to hold down the CTRL+P keys.

shamus001 Michigander Wed, 04/25/2018 - 13:57 Permalink

If you don't know the difference between a crypto digital stock, and a fiat digital currency, and you couldn't make the connection, your too dumb to be breathing and deserve what comes. Please don't purchase any PMs with your fiat, I'd like to think only intelligent people will be conversing with me in the aftermath of the global collapse.

In reply to by Michigander

VWAndy Wed, 04/25/2018 - 12:37 Permalink

 Remember banks needs come first. Even before the needs of the state. Whats important to you is of no concern to either the bank or the state.

OverTheHedge gmak Wed, 04/25/2018 - 13:32 Permalink

That's not important. What IS important is that you panic, and buy gold, preferably directly from the very nice, trustworthy authors of the article.

Using bank cockups to frighten people into buying gold seems a little disingenuous, but there certainly is a risk of bail-in at some point. Eventually. Even Greece has managed to avoid them for 8 years and counting. Cyprus did it to get at the Russians, and even then it didn't work too well, as only the locals were studied up.

In reply to by gmak

rgraf gmak Thu, 04/26/2018 - 00:58 Permalink

If it is in the form of coins like Eagles, there's a legal tender value. I think it's $5. So, that's effectively a bottom line price for the silver market. As for finding out where the party you would be trying to pay would accept it at tender value: good luck, as cash is just about obsolete. Even trying to get tender value at the grocery store would be tough. The utility companies and the telcos would probably just lock their doors. It's time to head for the boonies and be prepared to camp out for a few years.

In reply to by gmak

VWAndy Wed, 04/25/2018 - 13:43 Permalink

 Were small business accounts effected?

  If they really wanted to tank the local economy? Thats one dirty trick that would do it.

Watson Wed, 04/25/2018 - 13:59 Permalink

I think Ulster Bank is a part of the RBS group.

If it is, bearing in mind:

(1) RBS had to be rescued by the UK and has racked up massive losses since that point;
(2) only a few years ago RBS managed to get themselves in a situation whereby they couldn't even move money around reliably

then you are foolish to let them anywhere near your money.


Lie_Detector Wed, 04/25/2018 - 14:20 Permalink

While travelling overseas about 18 years ago I took cash, American Express, Visa (and I think MasterCard) as both credit and debit cards. I paid for my hotel room with one of the cards. Walked about 10 feet around the corner to a kiosk selling local currency. I tried the same card I used at the hotel desk. DENIED! I was told the card was no good. I eventually pulled out my greenbacks and got some local currency. Over the next few days I would use cash for exchange until I was getting close to running out. Next was American Express. I went to several places and no one would accept it. Finally I was told there was an American Express office (downtown as I recall). I finally got to the AE office and exchanged ALL of it for local currency. Again I was almost out of cash with a few days left so I tried several banks with the cards. No one would or could accept my cards (they had thousands of $ available). Eventually I was almost desperate enough to call back the the USA to have someone send me $ at western union. I spoke with someone who suggested a certain bank that was known to give local currency for cash advances and/or debit cards. It was quite a distance from my hotel. I got a ride then walked quite a distance (sunny nice day) and at the bank there was a line of people waiting that took a LONG time to get to a teller but it was worth it! The teller looked at the card, tried it and it WORKED! Needless to say I learned something that day. CASH IS KING! (Gold and silver are good too). Do NOT rely on banks, credit cards, debit cards or even American Express. I would have been in serious trouble if not for that bank. I may not have even had the money to make a phone call for western union and would have had to reverse the charges on the phone call. 

hongdo mkkby Wed, 04/25/2018 - 17:53 Permalink

Lie detector is right. It has happened to me as recently as this year. Over the last 5 years in Germany, France, Italy, Thailand, Egypt, Sri Lanka, Turkey, Myanmar.  Credit cards are usually good at hotels, high end restaurants, and airports.  Cash everywhere else.  ATMs are hit and miss.  Last trip I told the bank I was traveling but the debit card was rejected at ATMs. The last time that happened I called the bank (9 to 5 EST) but on my new card, the bank had taken the telephone number off.  So I was SOL.   I have even had trouble with converting cash to euros in Germany and France. In France I had to go to a Post Office to change dollars and they would not change any bill over a 20.

BTW, I also carry a few sovereigns.  Never had to use them but from the reactions I have gotten from everyone to cash including all the cops, I am sure if you needed to change to local cash you could easily - at a very high premium though.  I have not tried a credit or debit card with a cop yet so I can't say whether that would work.

In reply to by mkkby

mkkby Lie_Detector Thu, 04/26/2018 - 18:00 Permalink

Thanks for your worthless story about something that happened 18 years ago in russia under sanctions.  LOL.  Go back now and see what happens.  Maybe read a guidebook or two so you know what to expect.

BTW, this thread is about a bank with a software glitch.  How your pea brain thought this was relevant only the psych doctors can know for sure.

In reply to by Lie_Detector

ConnectingTheDots Wed, 04/25/2018 - 18:35 Permalink

Just imagine the same situation as described in the article, but the war on cash has been won (by the elites) and now cash is no longer used.

Everyone would then be totally at the mercy of the bankers with no alternative.