Ulster Bank plans for compensation over IT glitch

Wednesday 05 December 2012 11.11
Ulster Bank expected to pay out up to €100m on compensation
Ulster Bank expected to pay out up to €100m on compensation

Ulster Bank has announced details of a scheme aimed at the 600,000 customers who were affected by IT problems at the bank.

The bank says that it intends to refund all fees, charges and debit interest incurred by customers and work to ensure that credit ratings aren't affected.

The bank says that it is also "proactively refunding all fees, charges and debit interest" which may have been charged in error and expect to have this process completed by October.

Reasonable out-of-pocket expenses can also be reimbursed, and the bank will pay an additional 20% on top of the expenses up to a maximum of €120.

The bank says “it will help if customers can back up your claim with any paperwork you may have; for example, phone bills, bus tickets, travel receipts, bills or invoices”.

The Central Bank is monitoring the situation and says customers who are not satisfied with the bank’s response should first complain to the bank and if necessary got to the Financial Ombudsman which has produced this helpful guide for Ulster Bank complaints.

The bank will also apply a three-month waiver to certain fees, charges and surcharge interest, and has given a commitment not to introduce current account charges until July 2013.

The Central Bank said that it will monitor the implementation of the plan and that the investigation into Ulster Bank's and the wider RBS Group's technical failure is continuing.

A one-off payment of €25 will be paid to those that Ulster Bank record as having visited their branch more frequently during the crisis than immediately before the crisis.

Savers will get an automatic one-off payment, which equates to an additional 3 months 0.25% AER interest on savings.

Ulster Bank will also write to customers with details of the restitution scheme and the bank will begin processing claims for reimbursement on September 3.

The full details of the restitution are available on the Ulster Bank website.

Customers concerned about their credit rating, say Ulster Bank, should contact their own bank for a free credit report. Alternatively customers can call this free-phone number, 0800 231 232, Monday to Saturday 8am to 6pm.

The bank says that customers of other banks should apply to their own bank and that their bank will use their usual complaint handling procedures and work with Ulster Bank to resolve the issue.

Customers of other banks also to get compensation

Customers of other banks should also contact their own banks about out-of-pocket expenses. Ulster Bank is working with other banks but again supporting evidence such as bank statement showing penalities and fees caused by late payments incurred because of the Ulster Bank IT glitch will be neeed.

The bank said credit ratings were of “significant concern to customers”, and it was working with credit reference agencies to ensure no customer is permanently affected.

To make a claim, customers will have to fill out this form from their website.

The technology glitch at a data centre in Scotland caused chaos across the Royal Bank of Scotland group.

Problems in Ireland were compounded because Ulster Bank was the last of the RBS divisions to have the glitch resolved.

Ulster Bank estimated more than half its 1.1 million customers were affected. The bank was criticised by the Central Bank for poor communication with the public.

Central Bank to monitor implementation

The Central Bank has encouraged all Ulster Bank customers to contact Ulster Bank when contacted by them, it said, to ensure that their issues are properly addressed.

The Central Bank said that while Ulster Bank is required to reimburse customers for actual losses, any redress for loss and inconvenience is not subject to the Central Bank's regulatory standards or approval and is a commercial decision for Ulster Bank.

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