There hasn’t been very much mention by our politicians in the Dail about the problems at Ulster Bank – even though it seem to be affecting thousands of people.
One Fine Gael TD – Shane McEntee – responded to questions about Ulster Bank from Sinn Fein’s Pearse Doherty and Michael McGrath of Fianna Fail.
He seems to think that getting rid of computers is the answer !
He said ..”I always believed something like this would happen. Banks no longer provider a personal service: everything has been computerised. …..”
As stated by the Deputies, there is no doubt but that this could happen again.”
…..”This was bound to happen at some stage. Perhaps now the banks will return to employing counter staff rather than relying on computers.”
“This could happen in any bank. I always knew it would happen at some stage. In my view, technology has gone too far.”
The only other TDs that have even mentioned the Ulster Bank problem are Nulty (Labour ) and Joanna Tuffy (Labour).
Minister for Finance Michael Noonan responded to a written question about the ongoing problems – in his reply on 28th June he said
I am very conscious of the difficulties that Ulster Bank customers find themselves in. The Central bank has advised me that they have been in contact with Ulster Bank at the highest level to press the bank to resolve the situation as quickly as possible and ensure that customers are treated fairly. The Central Bank’s concern is to ensure that all customers are supported and accommodated by the Bank until the system is fully operational again and the Bank has made this clear at a meeting with Ulster Bank senior management. They have emphasised the importance of clear communication and support to consumers. Ulster Bank reiterated its commitment to ensuring access to funds for customers through its branch network and where a customer is in hardship or requires funds they should contact Ulster Bank via the branch network or call centers.
The Central Bank has also advised me that Ulster Bank has committed to ensuring that no customer will be at a financial loss and will provide up-to-date and clear information to customers. However the current focus is to get all transactions processed and following that they will commence the process of refunding customers for any interest or fees and charges that have occurred as a result of this incident. Ulster Bank has also confirmed that it will work with the Irish Credit Bureau to ensure that customer ratings are not impacted. Both the Bank and my officials are getting regular status updates and are closely monitoring the situation to ensure that the situation is resolved as quickly as possible.