Pay for tens of thousands delayed after Ulster Bank glitch

Bank says the issue has been resolved and apologises to customers that were affected

Tens of thousands of people suffered delays to their pay and social welfare payments on Friday due a glitch with Ulster Bank’s credit system, although the situation has now been resolved.

In a statement on Friday morning, the bank said it was “experiencing delays” applying credits to some customers’ accounts.

“Some customers have not received credits as expected today,” it said.

“These delayed transactions could include salary payments coming in. We are working hard to fix this and will ensure no customer is left out of pocket as a result of this issue.”


Shortly after 2pm, the bank issued a further statement to say the issue had been resolved.

“Today’s delay for our customers has been resolved and all transactions are now visible on our customer’s accounts,” it said.

“We apologise unreservedly for the impact this issue has had and no customer will be left out of pocket as a result of this.”

However, many customers took to social media to express their frustration, while the Department of Social Welfare said Ulster Bank had made it aware that 10,000 social welfare payments to customers were delayed on Friday.

David Hall, director of the Irish Mortgage Holders Organisation, pointed out that the Central Bank has a consumer protection obligation and said it was time for the regulator "to act".

Undertake an audit

Sinn Féin Finance spokesperson Pearse Doherty said he had written to the Central Bank calling on it to undertake an audit of the IT systems of retail banks in light of the delay.

“It should be noted that this is not a recurring event for Ulster Bank customers, having experienced similar delays in the past as a result of errors in the bank’s IT systems,” he said.

“While delays in credit payments require an immediate response through emergency payments and compensation for affected customers, I believe there is also a role for the Central Bank to ensure this occurrence is not repeated.

“Given the recurrence of IT systems failures and its impact on customers, I am requesting that the Central Bank undertake a thorough audit of the IT systems of retail banks to ensure customers are not exposed to this sort of failure again.”

Colin Gleeson

Colin Gleeson

Colin Gleeson is an Irish Times reporter