Bank of Ireland sets aside €3m to refund customers

Central Bank orders refunds after delay in rollout of measures to tackle online fraud

The Bank of Ireland headquarters  in Dublin. Photograph: Frantzesco Kangaris/Bloomberg

The Bank of Ireland headquarters in Dublin. Photograph: Frantzesco Kangaris/Bloomberg

 

Bank of Ireland has set aside €3 million after it was ordered by the Central Bank to refund customers over a delay in the rollout of new online security measures.

The bank said on Friday it was writing to a range of personal and business customers to apologise for a delay in the rollout of Strong Customer Authentication (SCA), and to advise them they will receive a refund of a portion of bank charges before the end of the year.

Bank of Ireland said SCA, which is being introduced in banks across Europe, gives customers an extra layer of protection when shopping online as they must use the bank’s mobile app to approve certain payments.

Delay

In line with the industry in Ireland, Bank of Ireland was working towards a full implementation date of June 30th. However, it took longer than anticipated for the bank to roll it out.

A spokesman explained that it was a “complex technical change and we were keen to get it right in order to protect customers from fraud, but this has taken longer than first expected”. SCA is now fully in place at Bank of Ireland and it has apologised for the delay.

The Central Bank has told Bank of Ireland that it may not charge a full fee for a service that did not fully comply with regulatory requirements.

Therefore, Bank of Ireland will next month refund a portion of bank charges to all personal current account customers and to business current account customers who made an automated debit transaction.

It said customers do not have to take any action, and the refund will be paid directly to their accounts in December. The average refund per customer is under €3 and the overall refund cost to Bank of Ireland is €3 million.

Where an account has been closed, Bank of Ireland is making a charitable donation which will result in a payment of about €27,000 to the Community Foundation for Ireland.

Henry Dummer, director of everyday banking at Bank of Ireland said: “While online fraud has been around for many years, the pandemic has seen an increase in activity, with fraudsters targeting consumers and businesses as they spend more time online.

Refund

“We have invested significantly over the years in strengthening both awareness and protection around online fraud and Strong Customer Authentication is an important extra step.

“We are pleased that SCA is now in place for all customers, but it should have been in place earlier. We are sorry for this delay and are writing to customers to apologise and provide a refund.

“We are also reminding customers to be alert to the risk of fraud, particularly in the run-up to the busy Christmas shopping period.”