Fianna Fáil Finance Spokesperson, Michael McGrath TD, has welcomed the customer compensation package unveiled by Ulster Bank and has called on the bank to refund fees, charges, interest and out of pocket expenses to customers without any undue delay. The details of the package are on the bank’s website this morning.
Deputy McGrath stated: “The IT systems failure at Ulster Bank caused enormous distress and inconvenience for up to 600,000 customers in the Republic of Ireland over a period of several weeks and the bank was rightly severely criticised for the manner of its handling of the affair.
“Overall, the package of measures announced by the bank for its customers affected by the IT debacle seems to be fair and reasonable provided it is implemented efficiently and the bank doesn’t unnecessarily contest claims for out of pocket expenses. I expect the bank to be fair in its assessment of expense claims by customers and not to be petty and challenge the validity of every item being claimed. In essence, Ulster Bank’s restitution package needs to ensure that no personal or business customer is out of pocket or disadvantaged in any way as a result of this IT failure.
“It is evident that the Central Bank had oversight of the content of the compensation package and is to be commended for insisting that Ulster Bank meet its commitments to customers. I repeat my call for the Central Bank to re-examine the way in which it regulates and tests the IT systems used in banks operating in Ireland. As a country, we cannot afford to endure another IT debacle in retail banking.
“Ulster Bank now has a mammoth task ahead of it to rebuild its reputation and regain the trust of its customers. A swift and fair implementation of the compensation package announced today would be a good starting point for the bank. I wish Ulster Bank well in this task because it is vital that there is some level of competition in the Irish banking landscape at a time when the sector is shrinking rapidly and customer choice is diminishing all the time.”