Wednesday 22 October 2014

Bank gives refunds to 11,500 customers after error

Charlie Weston Personal Finance Editor

Published 29/11/2012 | 05:00

UNDER-pressure Ulster Bank is refunding 11,500 customers who took out insurance with it because premiums were miscalculated, the Irish Independent has learned.

Average refunds will be just short of €120 after a mix-up over what people should be paying in annual premiums for home insurance.

The bank spotted the mistake and has informed the Central Bank.

The error was made by the bank's British-based underwriter, the insurance firm that takes on some of the risk of the company that is selling the insurance to consumers.

A spokesman for the bank said customers were charged incorrectly but they would now be refunded, with interest.

The total number of insurance customers affected is around 9pc of those insured with it.

Homeowners have not had their insurance cover impacted in any way by the failure to calculate premiums properly, the bank insisted.

A spokesman for the Central Bank said it was aware of the issue but had no other comment to make.

Ulster Bank has also written to its home insurance customers telling them that some of the policy documents it issued to them "may not fully reflect your circumstances or the information you provided to us".

It asked these customers to check their documents to see if the details are correct.

The letter advises anyone who held back from making an insurance claim after reading their policy documents to now contact the bank.

This is the second time this year that Ulster Bank has had to compensate customers.

Collapse

The collapse of its computer system for a month during the summer meant it had to refund 750,000 customers their out-of-pocket expenses.

Personal current account holders in the Republic got €25, while those in the North got £20 in one-off payouts. On top of that, a three-month banking fee holiday has been offered along with reimbursement of expenses run up by customers inconvenienced by the chaos.

The bank was thrown into chaos earlier this year after a systems failure left many of its 1.9 million customers unable to see or use cash paid into their accounts.

It was initially estimated that the IT meltdown would cost the bank €35m but that forecast was later upgraded to twice that.

Irish Independent

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