Around 400,000 UK workers will not receive their monthly salary payments as expected today because of a glitch with the Bacs automated clearing system.
The problem with the IP-based Bacstel system - which is operated by Voca - was discovered on Wednesday when payments that should have been completed failed to clear. Some payments from employers had still not been processed by Thursday morning - in time to be transferred to customer accounts for today.
Voca has not yet made any comment on the incident and all press queries are being diverted to industry body Apacs.
In a statement Apacs says the entire banking and payments industry was "working to resolve the issue and limit the impact on individual customers" but warned that some customers could experience problems withdrawing money from current accounts and ATMs.
Apacs says it will ensure that affected customers will not miss any payments being made – such as monthly mortgage payments – or suffer any charges for going overdrawn as a result of the processing problems.
"All banks are aware of what has happened and are working together with those corporate customers who have been unable to pay their employees to ensure that those payments are made at the next available date," says Apacs in a statement.
It says all affected individuals will have received their normal salary payment by Monday.
The Bacs system processes 90% of the UK's salaries and 15% of Europe's automated payment volume.