A CASH machine near Wrexham has been giving out ‘test notes’ instead of real £20 notes, yet still debiting customers’ accounts.

Residents reported the new cash machine, which was installed where the telephone kiosk previously stood in Glyn Ceiriog, was dispensing coloured slips of paper with the words ‘test note’ printed on them when they requested sums where a £20 would normally be dispensed.

Customers then found that their accounts had been debited for the full amount, despite the error.

Resident Jeff Davies was given two test notes when he tried to withdraw £50.

“I was going to bingo for the kids in Glyn Ceiriog and my partner said to get some money out.

“I got £50 out, it gave me £10 and when I looked there were two duds.”

Mr Davies is in the process of trying to reclaim the £40 which was debited from his account, but said his neighbour, Richard Jones, had attempted to withdraw a large sum of money, and was given the dud notes in lieu of £20 notes.

Mr Jones, pictured, said: “It was on February 28, I needed to get out quite a bit from the machine.

“There were two £10 notes – and just by feeling the others I thought ‘these are nice new notes’, but they were duds.”

Mr Jones checked his account online and found that the full amount had, however, been debited.

“I went on the internet banking an found a large amount of money had gone.”

“I needed the money and I asked if I would still be able to take it out but they said I’d reached my daily limit,” said Mr Jones.

He added: “We fought against the closure of the bank here. If the bank was still open perhaps this wouldn’t have happened.”

HSBC has confirmed to Mr Jones that he will be reimbursed, but said that if investigations proved his claim to be false, the money would once again be debited.

One customer swiftly attached a handwritten note to the faulty machine reading: “Warning: Do not use this machine. It is giving out test notes not real money!”

Maintenance of HSBC’s cash machines is contracted out to other firms.

HSBC has pledged to refund all the money. Spokesman James Thorpe said:

“Effectively it was a brand new ATM, a free-standing one which is part of a BT kiosk.

“Unfortunately the security company left a few test notes in one of the cartridges.

“It should not have happened and we apologise for it.”