Manager settles case over disciplinary proceedings by Ulster Bank

Woman suspended on allegations of applying higher interest rate to parents’ savings account

Ulster Bank accused the manager of applying a substantially higher than normal interest rate to a €100,000 savings account held by her parents

Ulster Bank accused the manager of applying a substantially higher than normal interest rate to a €100,000 savings account held by her parents

 

An action by a bank manager who was suspended pending a disciplinary investigation has settled at the High Court.

Clodagh Kinsella sued Ulster Bank after it brought disciplinary proceedings against her.

The bank accused her of applying a substantially higher than normal interest rate to a €100,000 savings account held by her parents. It also claimed that, at one point, it was believed up to 10 times the correct rate was obtained by her parents on the deposit account with their life savings.

Ms Kinsella, Collegewood Park, Clane, Co Kildare, who had been working in banking for 20 years, denies the accusations.

She brought proceedings aimed at ending both her suspension and the disciplinary process on grounds including the investigation was taking too long.

She also claimed she was denied fair procedures and was suffering stress because of her unfair treatment. She further claimed she was suffering reputational damage.

Intricate nature

In opposing her claims, Ulster Bank said it had complied with its own procedures. The investigation had taken longer than expected due to the intricate nature of what was involved, it said.

It also argued Ms Kinsella failed to adhere to instructions that staff should avoid financial conflicts of interests by never making transactions on behalf of friends or family.

The action opened before Ms Justice Carmel Stewart last month but was adjourned to Tuesday after an issue arose over the discovery of documents.

On Tuesday, Ms Justice Stewart was told the case had settled. No details of the settlement, which is understood to be confidential, were disclosed.

Previously, the court heard Ms Kinsella was suspended on full pay by the Bank in May 2015 to allow an investigation be carried out and was told the process would be done as quickly as possible.

Transparent

In May 2016 she was notified by the bank she would face disciplinary action alleging that between 2008 and 2014, she directly or indirectly instructed the bank’s Capital Market Unit to apply a substantially higher interest rate to her parents’ Ulster Bank deposition account.

A brother of Ms Kinsella’s worked in the Capital Market unit until his employment ended in December 2015, the court heard.

Ms Kinsella said her involvement with her parents’ account was not unusual, she had never attempted to hide her own, or her brother’s, relationship with their parents’ account, and it was all transparent.