Irish News

Wednesday 1 October 2014

Bank chiefs urged to explain delays

Published 28/08/2014 | 13:11

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Labour TD Michael McCarthy said the bank must answer questions about the latest problems

Bank of Ireland chiefs are facing calls to explain themselves after failing to pay wages into the accounts of customers for the second time in as many months.

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The bank has refused to disclose the problems that led to the latest payment delays, which is believed to have hit thousands of public sector workers, including nurses, gardai, teachers and civil servants.

Several other banks, including AIB, Ulster Bank and Permanent TSB, were caught up in the delay as they awaited payments from Bank of Ireland.

A spokeswoman for the bank was unable to give any details on the number of customers impacted, the amount of money involved, the types of payments affected and the nature of the problem.

"Bank of Ireland confirms that all other banks have now received any delayed payment originating from Bank of Ireland," she said.

"Many of these payments have already processed and all credits will be in accounts by the end of today.

"The Bank extends an apology to those who experienced a delay today."

But Labour TD Michael McCarthy said the bank must answer questions about the latest banking problems hitting hard-pressed workers.

"This is the second time in a month that an incident of this nature has occurred at the bank, and it is causing huge difficulties for the public servants affected," he said.

"It is simply not good enough that this should happen once, let alone twice."

Mr McCarthy called on senior managers at the Bank of Ireland to explain where the unpaid money is during the delay and, if it is accruing interest while being withheld, what the bank intended doing with the interest.

"We need an assurance from Bank of Ireland that this issue will be sorted promptly and most importantly, a guarantee that it will not happen again," he added.

"Apart from being deeply distressing, it is also disturbing that a leading bank would allow this to happen twice in one month at a time when the economy is turning."

Bank of Ireland would only say the issue was under investigation.

It was unable to say when the investigation would be completed or if it would fully explain the issues behind the latest delays when its inquiries were finished.

Last month, tens of thousands of workers and pensioners did not get their wages or payments on time because of a Bank of Ireland problem.

A number of Government departments have confirmed their employees have been affected by the latest delay.

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