Ulster Bank backlog unlikely to be cleared by Monday

Sat, Jun 23, 2012, 01:00

Ulster Bank has warned that it is unlikely to have cleared a backlog of transactions affecting tens of thousands of customers.

A bank spokeswoman said this evening that while the technical fault have been fixed, addressing the backlog was taking longer than expected.

She said “our customers, and the customers of other banks, are continuing to experience issues with our services. Where customers have had money go into their accounts, there may be a delay in it showing up on their balance.”

She added it was experiencing a “small number of interruptions” to ATM and online services. The bank has said no customers would be “left permanently out of pocket as a result of this issue”. 

The bank opened 34 branches in the Republic today in an attempt to meet customer demands. Tomorrow 12 branches will open from 10am to 1pm in the Republic and eight in the North. A list of branches open tomorrow is available here while those open in the North can be seen here.

The bank has been sharply criticised by both the Taoiseach and the Minister for Social Protection Joan Burton over its failure to deal with a technology crash which has affected 100,000 Irish customers.

Some 53,000 social welfare payments have been affected by Ulster Bank’s systems failure, with thousands of customers unable to receive payments over the weekend.

Both Enda Kenny and Ms Burton said the debacle would only worsen the already dim view that Irish people have of banks.

Ms Burton said she estimated some 30,000 social welfare recipients have been affected by the glitch. Many have been left without money for the weekend. She described herself as being “extremely disappointed” by the delay.

One of those affected, a man named John from Mullingar, said his disability payment “is all I have”. The man, who would not give his surname, said he only found out about the computer glitch from a news report yesterday morning.

The breakdown has meant that customers who go into branches cannot access their accounts because the bank officials cannot access them either.

However, some customers have been advanced payments based on their social welfare entitlements or their salaries.

Some 38,000 HSE employees who are paid through Ulster Bank can get an advance of up to €500.

The bank has blamed its parent, the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS Group), for the difficulties.

RBS said it had fixed the technology problem, but it would be Monday before the backlog of transactions was sufficiently dealt with.

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