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Australia's Biggest Bank Just Shut Off Customers From Their Accounts

Show me the money.

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Australia's biggest bank, the Commonwealth Bank, has started telling customers they won't be able to make British money transfers or buy currency for the entire weekend due to the UK's EU referendum decision.

Joel Carrett / AAPIMAGE

People overseas were opening their bank accounts on Friday morning and were unable to transfer Australian dollars into British pounds.

Hey @CommBank, just wondering why I can't transfer my AUD money whilst the rate is good into GBP? Why has this decision been made?

The social media team said the bank was "temporarily suspending all retail customer exchange" until Monday morning.

@Mitchy_Minx Due to recent results from the British exit referendum we are temporarily suspending all retail customer foreign exchange (1/2)

@Mitchy_Minx transactions of GBP pounds and transactions that do not include AUD until the morning of Monday, 27 June.(2/2) ^Mike

People were left without a clue why they couldn't use their travel cards overseas.

@CommBank Any reason why can't buy pound with travel money card but can other currencies?

And it was freaking a lot of people out.

@CommBank my travel money card has stopped working (#Brexit) and I cannot leave my hostel. Not staying with CBA as a customer.

@CommBank hi, currently in Scotland and would really like to be able to access my money. Can you help?

@CommBank we really need this money for pay somethings asap and the apps is not working seen 5 hour??? What going on

It wasn't just people with travel cards – customers who wanted to transfer money overseas also had accounts suspended.

Hey @CommBank interesting I can't transfer money to the UK this evening?

Presumably the Commonwealth Bank suspended the transfers because the British pound has crashed on the world markets, including against the Aussie dollar. BuzzFeed News has asked the bank why it's made the unprecedented move.

Mark Di Stefano is a media and politics correspondent for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.

Contact Mark Di Stefano at mark.distefano@buzzfeed.com.

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