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Wednesday 22 November 2017

'How are we to feed our children or pay the mortgage?'

Edel O'Connell

UTTER disbelief was how many Ulster Bank customers greeted the news that their monthly salaries were not in their bank accounts yesterday.

Rain-soaked customers leaving an Ulster Bank branch on Dublin's Baggot Street were shocked to be told there was no certainty as to when their pay would be available.

And by mid-morning, the issue was trending on Twitter as hundreds of people expressed their dismay at not receiving their wages.

Anne Mangan, from Templogue, said: "I can't believe this kind of thing could happen. This was a five-weekend month so people are desperately in need of their monthly pay. I have direct debits that need to go out and other commitments like my mortgage. I had to get a loan from a friend.

"They [Ulster Bank] said they can't say when I will be paid," she said.

Similarly, a stressed Barry Hanrahan, from Dublin, who lost his bank card in Poznan, was told there was nothing that could be done as the "system was down".

"This is the first I am hearing of this issue," he said.

"I'm due to be paid tomorrow and now I don't know if that will happen either.

"I am going to a friend's stag for the weekend so I will have to get a loan," Mr Hanrahan said.

Peter McDonnell, from Co Monaghan, said the technical issue was having a knock-on effect on his business.

"I came here to lodge money and conduct some business. It is pretty frustrating just being turned away. I can't just put my business on hold," he said.

Further afield, John Driscoll from Co Cavan, who is working in Israel, told the Irish Independent he was "horrified" to discover his salary had not reached his account.

"I requested a temporary overdraft increase so I could meet my regular direct debits," he said.

"I was told there was nothing they could do as everything is on the same system. It's beyond outrageous."

Another woman, who along with her husband works for the HSE, said she was facing into a weekend without money to pay vital bills as a result of not being paid.

"We are now in a position of no money in our accounts to pay the mortgage or buy food to feed our children. This is totally unacceptable," she said.

Irish Independent

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