Sunday 17 December 2017

Beleaguered Ulster Bank admits pay problems to run into next week

Charlie Weston Personal Finance Editor

BUNGLING Ulster Bank admitted last night that some of the thousands of people who are due to be paid their monthly salaries will have problems accessing their money.

The bank is understood to be using AIB to process payments for those due to be paid at the end of the week -- but it admitted that this will not cover everyone.

It will now be next week before a full service is restored at the bank, it said.

Around 150,000 consumers have been affected by the unprecedented computer meltdown.

People affected include those whose salary is paid into their current accounts at Ulster from another bank, and those whose employer pays them using Ulster Bank to transfer the money to another bank.

Customers who are unable to access their wages will have to turn up at an Ulster Bank branch, or the bank where their salary is usually paid into, and provide identification and a payslip in order to get their funds.

Asked about its ability to process salary payments, a bank spokeswoman said: "The majority of salary payments for our large, corporate customers are up to date.

"For a smaller number of Ulster Bank customers who may still have their salaries affected by this issue, we are providing access to cash through our branch network on the production of payslips and identification."

Surge

There has been a surge of activity in the 146 branches in the State, with 33,000 people visiting a branch on Monday, and 20,000 calls to the bank's call centre.

Ulster Bank said its ATM services remained operational, but it is understood balances displayed may not reflect the up-to-date situation in customers' accounts because of the delays in processing some payments in and out of accounts.

It is understood customers are being allowed to withdraw cash using their credit cards, with cash-advance charges being waived for as long as the outage lasts.

As the computer glitch debacle entered its ninth day, the bank said it was also working with the credit reference agencies to ensure customers' credit ratings were not affected.

Head of retail banking Jim Ryan said 80 branches would open until 7pm all of this week.

The bank would not say if its parent, Royal Bank of Scotland, had a contingency plan that could have been put into operation when its main IT system came to a halt.

It said a full review of its systems would be conducted when it eventually gets its operations up and running again.

Irish Independent

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