Ulster Unionist Finance Spokesperson Leslie Cree has described Ulster Bank’s offer of £20 compensation payments to customers following the four week breakdown in its computer systems in June and July as evidence of just how the Senior Management has failed to comprehend the scale of the humiliation felt by many of their customers.
The North Down MLA said:
“The Ulster Bank’s offer of £20 as compensation to customers following the collapse of its systems for a month from the 19th June is simply not acceptable and I fear the Bank does not seem to have learned anything from the disaster which it inflicted on its customers.
First of all to receive the £20, customers have to have been in a branch during the crisis. This does not help those customers who managed to work around the problem, who contacted the Bank by phone or who were simply unable to get into a branch.
Tens of thousands of people faced what can only be described as humiliation as they had to explain to friends, family members and businesses why they did not have funds. As a result many had to borrow from family and friends. Many individuals and businesses faced real hardship through no fault of their own and deserve far better treatment than they have received thus far.
A lot of the Individuals who suffered as a result of the Ulster Bank crisis are involved in Small and Medium Sized Enterprises who were already struggling to get access to finance from the bank. The lack of confidence which businesses have in the banking sector will have been aggravated as a result.
The Ulster Bank has apologised to its customers but if they want to make a statement of apology to both customers and the wider community, I would like to see Ulster Bank give consideration to making a donation to the community and voluntary sector in light of their unacceptable actions during the last few months.
Finally, I would direct people to the Consumer Council factsheet on this issue and remind Ulster Bank bosses that Bank customers have a choice and people simply will not put up with being treated like this and will take their business elsewhere if they aren’t satisfied at their treatment.”