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Ulster Bank waves £100 at punters pummelled by RBS IT fiasco

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Small businesses and personal customers that were affected by IT problems experienced by Ulster Bank can claim up to £100 in expenses incurred as a result of the problems under plans outlined by the bank.

In June RBS Group announced that a "large number" of its NatWest and Ulster Bank customers, and some RBS customers, had been affected by a "failure" of its systems to update account balances. Business customers were also affected. The problem left the Group with a backlog of transactions to process. At the time the company announced it would "automatically waive any overdraft fees or charges on current accounts for customers affected".

Ulster Bank has now said that it will repay "reasonable out of pocket expenses" that customers had "incurred" as a result of its systems issues. It will begin processing claims from today. In addition the company said it would pay customers who have personal current accounts £20 in compensation for "the inconvenience caused" by the "technical incident", subject to certain conditions.

"[Ulster Bank is recognising the inconvenience caused with] an automatic one-off payment of £20 to those Personal Current Account customers who visited and transacted at a branch during the period of the incident (19 June – 18 July 2012) more frequently than in the equivalent period before the incident (19 May – 18 June 2012)," the bank said in a note (8-page / 77KB PDF) to its customers.

"Reasonable out of pocket expenses incurred as a result of this incident [will be reimbursed]," it added. "For Personal and SME customers, we will pay an additional 20 per cent on top of these expenses up to a maximum of £100. It will help if you can back up your claim with any paperwork you may have, for example, phonebills, bus tickets, travel receipts, bills or invoices."

In the note Ulster Bank said it was waiving current account fees, charges and interest incurred by customers between 19 June and 19 September. It also outlined plans to "automatically refund or correct any Ulster Bank fees, charges or interest we may have charged in error as a result of our technical incident between 19 June and 22 July 2012".

Ulster Bank personal loans and mortgage customers will also receive a "full refund" on the interest they were charged due to their payments being missed or delayed as a result of the incident, the bank said. It said it would also "ensure" that savings customers were not "out of pocket" on interest they were due as a result of the problems.

"Once again, I apologise unreservedly to our customers and customers of other banks for the inconvenience this has caused and thank them for their patience as we worked to resolve this issue," Jim Brown, chief executive of Ulster Bank, said, according to a report by the BBC.

"We recognise that we have work to do to restore our customers' trust in us and we believe that this is the first step in that direction. We have worked with our key stakeholders to ensure the additional measures which we are taking provide a comprehensive response to customer concerns and demonstrate our commitment to making amends," he added.

Copyright © 2012, Out-Law.com

Out-Law.com is part of international law firm Pinsent Masons.

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