Monday 18 December 2017

Ulster Bank computer breakdown means some customers won’t be paid today

Charlie Weston Personal Finance Editor

SOME payments to Ulster Bank customers and social welfare recipients may not be made until tomorrow as the bank continues to try to solve technical problems.



Staff at Ulster Bank worked through the night to fix a massive computer breakdown that meant thousands of customers had problems getting access to their wages and social welfare payments.



The bank apologised to customers after the technical fault meant that online banking did not work yesterday, and systems in 236 branches were not working.



Some customers could not get access to their money. Transactions displayed online were not updated yesterday.



A spokeswoman said: "I can confirm that some electronic payments made into Ulster Bank accounts by third parties after 5.30pm yesterday (Tuesday) did not update on our system, therefore these funds were not accessible."



However, automated teller machines were working and the bank said customers were able to withdraw money manually in branches.



Staff at Ulster Bank headquarters and at branches across the country were understood to have spent much of yesterday dealing with complaints and queries from customers.



Natwest, which is also in the Royal Bank of Scotland group, experienced similar problems earlier yesterday but they have now been rectified.



People expecting social welfare payments were also affected, and the Department of Social Protection said it was aware of the problem.



The bank, which is the third-largest retail bank in the State, said it had hundreds of people from its information technology section working to resolve the computer crash.



"We are aware of a technical issue affecting a number of Ulster Bank systems which we are looking to resolve as quickly as possible," it said.



"We apologise to our customers for any inconvenience."



The bank insisted that it was still possible to carry out paper-based transactions at its 146 branches in the Republic and 90 in the North.



However, banking experts pointed out that most banking transactions are carried out electronically these days.



Bank of Ireland was hit by the collapse of its electronic payments system in December 2010, causing disruption to online and phone banking services.

If you have been affected by the breakdown we would like to hear from you. Please contact eoconnell@independent.ie



Irish Independent

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