Ulster Bank to open at weekend


Ulster Bank will open some 60 of its branches tomorrow and will open 22 branches for three hours on Sunday in efforts to assist customers who continue to be affected by the outage in its internal systems.

Tomorrow, the branches will open from 10am to 3pm, while on Sunday they will open from 10am to 1pm. The bank said its call centre had handled about 70,000 calls to date this week from customers.

The bank said the bulk of salary payments were up-to-date, but that a small number of customers may still experience a delay. To assist those customers, it is continuing to provide access to funds through the branch network.

Some social welfare and children's allowance payments also continue to be affected.

The bank said it was continuing to provide welfare recipients with access to funds if they visit any Ulster Bank branch with photographic ID (passport or driver's licence) and their account number.

With regard to mortgage payments, it had been working with all the other banks to ensure that customers were not financially impacted but said customers should contact their mortgage provider in the first instance.

Ulster Bank said it would ensure that its own mortgage customers who had not yet had their direct debit taken would not suffer any financial loss or impact on their credit history as a result of the issue.

"If you have incurred any fees or charges as a result of this issue you will be fully refunded in due course," the bank said in a statement.

Meanwhile, an enterprising bar in Dublin has promised all Ulster Bank card holders a free drink tonight.

The Grafton Lounge in in Upper Duke Lane, off Grafton Street, is offering anyone who presents an Ulster Bank card a drink for themselves and a friend.

Manager John Ennis said that the bar wanted to help "alleviate the problem".

"We are very active on our Twitter and Facebook and aware of the situation for our customers. We then introduced this offer today to try and alleviate the bad news and bring a bit of cheer out of it," Mr Ennis said.

"Over a hundred people have taken up the offer so far and we are thinking of running it tomorrow night also because of the popularity," he said.

Mr Ennis, who has been manager at the bar since it opened two and a half years ago, said that his brother was also affected by the backlog.

Over 100,000 customers are affected by the backlog which has been going on since last week due to a technical error.