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Bungling BoI left red-faced again in overdraft fiasco

BANK of Ireland has been left red-faced again after being forced to apologise to customers after another blunder.

The institution issued letters to customers with overdrafts saying they owe more money to the bank than they actually do.

The bank wrote to its customers outlining what they owed but didn't include the decimal point when it listed the amount owed.

This created a situation where a customer with a balance of €50.00 was told they owed €5,000.

A spokesperon for the bank said it apologised and was in the process of issuing the correct letters.

Under law, banks are required to notify customers who exceed their agreed overdraft amount.

The letters were sent to customers who exceeded their overdraft limits for 30 days or more.

Bank of Ireland charges €25 to set up an overdraft facility and charges interest of 14.8pc for an authorised overdraft, and a surcharge of 7.2pc for exceeding the overdraft limit.

The latest debacle comes just one week after they were forced to refund €3m to customers who left money behind when withdrawing cash from the bank's ATMs.

When a user forgets to take their cash after withdrawing it from a BoI ATM, the machine should pull the money back in and the customer will get an automatic refund.

However, it has now emerged that during the four-year period to October 2009, customers who left money behind at ATMs were not automatically refunded. The average refund was €93.

Bank of Ireland will refund €1.3m to some 14,000 of its own customers this week. It is also making arrangements to refund some €1.7m to almost 30,000 customers from other banks who used a Bank or Ireland ATM machine and forgot to take their cash.

The error came to light as part of an internal monitoring process BoI was conducting.

Last September the bank had to refund 120,000 customers after they were double charged when they used debit cards.

Customers who used their Laser cards to pay for goods and services found that their accounts had been mistakenly debited twice each time they used the card for a transaction.

The payment of direct debits and cheques were not affected by the glitch, while a small number of Standing Order payments may have been delayed by one day.