Ulster Bank woes to drag into early next week

26 Jun 2012

The 100,000 customers who have been affected by a technical glitch at Ulster Bank since Wednesday will have to wait until early next week for normal service to be restored, Ulster Bank’s parent company Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) said in a statement today.

This follows a statement from Ulster Bank yesterday that said clearance of a backlog of payments may not be resolved until the end of this week.

“RBS and NatWest confirm that the update of customer account balances has cleared overnight, with the exception of a few specific sets of transactions,” RBS’ statement said. (NatWest’s customers have also been experiencing service disruptions this past week).

“We know this disruption was unacceptable and that many customers will still have questions and concerns. It is possible a small number of customers may experience delays as we return to a completely normal service,” RBS said.

“The full focus of our efforts will now be on delivering the same result for our Ulster Bank customers who continue to experience unacceptable delays to their accounts being updated. We are confident that this will help us restore a full service for the start of next week for Ulster Bank and remain grateful for our customers’ patience.”

Ulster Bank had said a corrupted software upgrade to the payment-processing system caused the original technical problem.

The glitch has disrupted salary transfers, direct debits and social welfare payments, causing a delay in processing certain payments to bank accounts.

Ulster Bank said today it will open about 50 of its branches from 9.30am-7pm for the rest of this week, and is asking customers who will call into the branches to bring their account details and photo identification.

The bank’s help desk is also open, from 8am to 10pm, and can be reached at 1800 205 100. Callers from abroad should dial +353 9156 2910.

“We recognise this is an unacceptable inconvenience and we want to reassure our customers that if they experience bank charges as a result of this issue they will be refunded,” Ulster Bank said. “Once again we would like to unreservedly apologise.”

Tina Costanza was a journalist and sub-editor at Silicon Republic