Thursday 22 February 2018

Ulster Bank steps up security at branches

People queue to withdraw cash from an ATM at the Ulster Bank branch on Dublins O'Connell Street. Picture; GERRY MOONEY. 23/6/12
People queue to withdraw cash from an ATM at the Ulster Bank branch on Dublins O'Connell Street. Picture; GERRY MOONEY. 23/6/12

Charlie Weston Personal Finance Editor

UNDER pressure Ulster Bank admitted yesterday it has stepped up security at its 146 branches because of the extra cash being handled in the outlets.

The bank has hired extra security personnel from security giant G4S to patrol its branch network.

Extra cash has had to be held in branches as customers who are unable to get access to their accounts have had to withdraw funds in the bank.

A spokeswoman for Ulster Bank said the bank never comments on details of any of its security arrangements.

Some 600,000 customers of the bank, and those of other banks, have been impacted by the computer systems crash that has denied people access to their money.

The bank is promising to have most accounts updated from Monday. It said yesterday that most accounts were updated at this stage, but admitted that some cheque and manual lodgments had yet to be processed.

"We expect that services should begin to return to normal from Monday. Once again, we would like to unreservedly apologise to our customers," the bank said.

The problems began last month when an attempt to update the software systems of Ulster Bank and its parent bank Royal Bank of Scotland on June 19 resulted in the collapse of its payments system.

Compensation

Thousands of customers of the bank are in line for millions of euro in refunds and compensation for a large range of missed payments, charges and other losses.

The beleaguered bank will refund all charges and fees for its own customers and those of other banks as a result of the IT crisis.

It will refund overdraft fees, make up for lost interest on savings, fees for missing utility bills and cover the costs of travel tickets and money transfer fees, among others. It will also compensate people for missing flights.

Compensation payments will be in addition to out-of-pocket costs incurred by customers of the bank, and those who bank elsewhere but have been impacted by the IT crisis.

Meanwhile, the bank took the unusual step of opening 10 branches in Northern Ireland yesterday morning.

It was the first time bank branches in the North opened on the Twelfth, a day when most businesses close down as the Orange Order stages marches.

Irish Independent

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