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Students and workers queued for three hours in Bristol on Saturday after a malfunctioning cash point started handing out twice the amount of money people requested.

News of the fault spread like wildfire and within minutes people were queuing around the block for a chance to "double their money” at the faulty Royal Bank of Scotland cash point. Meanwhile another RBS cash point at the same location, which was operating normally, remained unused.

It's unclear how much money was dispensed before the machine ran out of cash, three hours later. The RBS has vowed to trace down discrepancies and claw back funds. The machine in the Clifton area of Bristol dispensed £20 for every £10 withdrawn. Many punters queued up to make multiple withdrawals amid party scenes with some people rejoining the queue after making a trip to local off-licences, This is London reports.

The party didn't finish even after the cash windfall came to an end. James Maloney, manager of Henry Africas Hothouse bar opposite the ATM, said: "We had bumper takings in the evening - our happy hour has never been so happy! It's nice to think that they all had a night out on the Royal Bank of Scotland - very generous of them," he added.

A Royal Bank of Scotland spokeswoman didn't say how much money the bank was out of pocket because of the problem. The bank plans to chase up punters who benefited from the windfall this week. In the UK people often use cash machines run by other banks so this might prove far from straightforward.

"Unfortunately due to a manual error, there was an issue with the Clifton cash machine dispensing incorrect notes. As soon as we were made aware of this the machine was taken out of action at 18:00 hours, Saturday evening," The RBS spokeswoman said.

"The problem has since been rectified and the machine is back up and running. We have a record of all the people who made withdrawals from the machine during this period and any discrepancies will be followed up this week. A sister machine at the same site was not affected and remained functioning throughout," she added. ®

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