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Fri 31st August
SDLP Economy spokesperson and Mid Ulster MLA Patsy McGlone, who has met senior Ulster Bank officials urging them to fully restitute customers, said:
“When was the last time the bosses at Ulster Bank got a taxi? £20 is a miserly amount of money that wouldn’t get anyone too far and is an insult to those customers who were left short due the bank’s failure. How this is meant to compensate for their waiting time, let alone their journeys for multiple visits to the bank is beyond me.
“Many unanswered questions still remain. For instance a lot more clarity is required on what restitution packages are available for people who are not Ulster Bank customers but were left out of pocket due to their system breakdown, such as employees of their business customers who encountered a delay in their wages; or other companies that lost income while awaiting payments from Ulster Bank business customers?
“Customers in Northern Ireland suffered most due to RBS’ technical failures and it essential that they are given assurances that the company’s I.T. structure is going to be improved so as to avoid the reoccurrence of such a crisis in the future. This crisis has not only caused reputational damage to the bank, but it has also impacted upon people’s perceptions of cashless banking and a lot will need to be done to ensure customer confidence in this system again.
“This whole debacle has also been very difficult for local Ulster Bank workers and it is essential that the bosses at the company do all they can to restore staff morale while providing their personal and business customers with a better compensation package.”
SDLP South Down MP Margaret Ritchie, met with the Chairman of RBS during the Ulster Bank crisis and will be questioning UK Treasury Ministers when parliament returns next week about restitution packages for customers.
She said: “This supposed compensation package from Ulster Bank is absolutely disgraceful and is totally unreflective of the inconvenience caused to people due to their computer failure.
“I will be putting questions to UK Treasury Ministers in Parliament next week requesting that further discussions take place between them and RBS, Ulster Bank’s parent company, firstly about the inadequacy of these remediation packages and secondly about the delay in customers being compensated.
“RBS are 82% taxpayer owned and I will be pushing the UK Treasury in Westminster to give a commitment to properly reimburse those who were left out of pocket as the result of the bank’s failure.”
SDLP Foyle MP Mark Durkan, who also met with RBS chiefs in London about the plight of Ulster Bank customers, described details of the compensation scheme as ‘underwhelming’ and has said the Ulster Bank must work harder to repair the reputational damage to themselves and their sector.
Mr Durkan said:
“In the aftermath of the computer debacle and PR failures of June and July the Ulster Bank have now come forward with a restitution and compensation scheme which is overdue and underwhelming.
“Customers need to be given greater personal assurance about the substance for themselves and the seemingly uncertain procedures and requirements on themselves still involved.
“Ulster Bank staff who were put in an invidious professional position need to know and show that their bank is serious and proactive about customer restitution and customer retention.
“The bank needs to provide clearer, surer answers to the concerns of its customers and the questions and suggestions of consumer advocates and public representatives.
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