Bank unable to hand out Turkish cash due to 'unexpected high demand'

Customers were unable to exchange pounds for lira today
Customers were unable to exchange pounds for lira today
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A number of travel money providers have been unable to exchange pounds for Turkish lira today due to unexpected high demand, the Royal Bank of Scotland said.

Kevin Harrison, 75, of Station Road, headed to NatWest on Lytham Road this morning to exchange £1,000 for the currency ahead of a planned holiday to Turkey next month.

However, he was told by staff that the bank was unable to hand out the currency.

Mr Harrison said: "The money that is in that account is my money and I should be able to get that money out in any currency I want. They shouldn't be allowed to not give me my money."

He said that when he later phoned his bank to complain, he was told that other banks had also decided to refuse pound to lira exchanges.

A spokesman for the Royal Bank of Scotland, speaking on behalf of Natwest, said: "Due to unexpected high demand we are unable to process Turkish lira today; this is a common issue across a number of travel money providers and we’re working with our suppliers to resume normal service.

"All other currencies are unaffected by this and our customers can continue to use their debit card for purchases in Turkey.”

Lira has recently plunged in value, dropping by 45 per cent in the last 12 months. The Post Office is currently offering an exchange rate of 1 GBP to 8.1649 TRY - a record low.

The spokesman was unable to say exactly how many travel money providers had been affected by the high demand.

Mr Harrison said: "We're going to have to go with English money and try to exchange it when we get there."