Saturday 24 August 2019

Workers' wages are delayed by eurozone holiday

Thousands of people were left without wages and social welfare payments in their bank accounts because of the May Day bank holiday on the continent. (stock picture)
Thousands of people were left without wages and social welfare payments in their bank accounts because of the May Day bank holiday on the continent. (stock picture)
Charlie Weston

Charlie Weston

Thousands of people were left without wages and social welfare payments in their bank accounts because of the May Day bank holiday on the continent.

A "Sepa [Single Euro Payments Area] holiday" meant interbank transactions did not take place.

Sepa is an EU payment-integration initiative to simplify bank transfers in euro.

Processing was delayed with many people waking up to find their wages missing from their accounts. Some social welfare payments were also affected.

Banks insisted the payments were processed later yesterday.

Transactions could not take place because the European Central Bank and the European Clearing House were closed, which stopped transactions taking place between banks in Ireland.

Chairman of the Consumers' Association Michael Kilcoyne said it was not good enough that a bank holiday should delay payments here.

"It is crazy stuff something like this can happen in this day and age. A better effort is needed from the banking system to sort this out," he said.

The Banking and Payments Federation of Ireland defended the situation.

Asked why a solution to the shutdown on continental bank holidays could not be found, it said: "All payment settlements take place in the European Central Bank which closes on May 1 and means payments cannot be physically settled."

Irish Independent

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