Bank delays should not occur again
Another delay in processing bank payments has left thousands of people unable to access wages or social welfare payments when they should have been available from bank ATMs.
While Bank of Ireland has assured the public they would have access to their updated accounts by last night, it again points to how fragile the processing system can be. People will remember the real hardship caused to Ulster Bank customers last year when their system crashed and some customers could not gain access to their money for days and even weeks.
In the current case, Bank of Ireland insisted that this episode was not a systems failure, but due to the large volume of transactions it needed to process yesterday. Why it should have been different to a normal Thursday - the day many civil servants, social welfare recipients and others have money deposited in their accounts - has not been explained. One public body, the Department of Education, put a notice on its website explaining to teachers that the delay in payments was due to the bank and not the department. One can only hope that such delays do not become a regular feature of the banking system.