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Mum of nine claims bank glitch left her family broke

A DUBLIN mum-of-nine says her disabled son's health could suffer after she claimed Ulster Bank left her without a cent.

Wendy McCormick told the Herald the lender was supposed to debit her account over three months to repay an overdraft -- but instead took the money all in one go.

She and her husband Robert ran up the loan during the computer glitch fiasco during the summer.

During the weeks'-long debacle, the bank was unable to pass wages, social welfare benefits and other payments into customers' accounts.

As a result, thousands of families, including the McCormicks, were forced to run up overdrafts to survive.

Wendy and Robert visited Ulster Bank last Monday and Tuesday to sort out the repayments and were given three months.

But mother-of-nine Wendy (40) said the lender took the entire amount in one go, leaving them with nothing for the week.

"This is a mistake (the computer glitch) that they made, not that I made," the Lucan woman said. "And I have to pay the penalty now. I don't have any money for the whole week," she said.

What concerns her most is that she doesn't have any money to put into the electricity meter at home. Wendy needs to power breathing equipment for 17-year-old son, who has cerebral palsy and another son (5) who is asthmatic.

She is paid a carer's allowance weekly, while her husband works in the stock room of Dunnes Stores.

When they visited Ulster Bank, the couple suggested they repay the €800 overdraft over a month, but the lender gave them longer, Wendy said.







Account

However, when she checked her account later in the week, it was empty, she said. When contacted, Ulster Bank said they do not give details about individual customers and had not provided a comment at the time of writing.

The IT fiasco at Ulster Bank, which saw up to 600,000 of its customers locked out of their accounts, cost the lender tens of millions. Thousands of people faced delays to payments as the technical issue affected lodgements.

It delayed payments, including salary and social welfare payments. Customers were able to access money already in their accounts through branches.

Ulster Bank set aside €35m to cover costs arising from the glitch but the institution's boss, Jim Brown, said the final bill would be "tens of millions more on top of the €35m we've made provision for already".

An Ulster Bank spokesman told the Herald they couldn't under any circumstances discuss individual cases.

However, he said when it comes to the repayment of any loan or overdraft, nothing would be taken out of a customer's account without prior notification.

"Loans are agreed and (repayment) time-frames are agreed. There is a process to them. The bank has to abide by the process. The bank is doing everything it can for customers on a case-by-case basis," the spokesman said.

comurphy@herald.ie


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