Northern Ireland

Ulster Bank extends opening hours

Ulster Bank
Image caption Ulster Bank has apologised for the problem

Opening hours of Ulster Bank branches are being extended this weekend to help thousands of customers who have had problems accessing their money.

The bank has said no-one will be left out of pocket, but a technical fault has disrupted payments into and out of accounts since Thursday.

Antoinette McKeown from the Consumer Council said they were concerned about the lack of response from the bank.

She said the information that had come had been confusing.

"We understand and sympathise that systems do fail but we have been very disappointed with Ulster Bank's response," she said.

"They have been very, very slow to come out with information.

"When Ulster Bank did come out with information it was confusing, it was misleading.

"There has been a distinct lack of leadership presence from the Ulster Bank."

On Friday, the Chief Operating Officer for Ulster Bank apologised unreservedly to customers for the "mayhem" and "chaos" caused by the software glitch.

Ellvena Graham also promised that no customer would be out of pocket because of the problem and said all fees and charges incurred will be reimbursed.

Tens of thousands of Ulster Bank customers in Northern Ireland and the Republic have been affected, along with Nat West customers in Britain.

Running late

Transactions are running 48 hours late.

The issues will persist over the weekend, and the bank, which is part of the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) Group, has said it will be Monday before it is operating as normal.

Ms Graham explained that although the software problem was resolved on Wednesday, Ulster Bank is experiencing a two-day delay to its processes because of the size of the group.

Payroll and social welfare payments have been affected, however, she said customers can access their money by going into any Ulster Bank branch or contacting their call centre.

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