Published Friday, 31 August 2012
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UTV NEWS POLL
Do you feel the compensation deal on offer from Ulster Bank is adequate?
Customers who made an over the counter transaction during the Ulster Bank crisis, when they were unable to access their accounts, could be in line for a £20 payment.
The bank said the payment is an 'incident credit' but Sinn Féin's Phil Flanagan said the deal is "too little, too late... I can see no reason why such a simple scheme has taken so long to put in place".
"This is not a compensation scheme by any stretch of the imagination, but simply a reimbursement scheme for people that have been charged as a result of the bank's failure to carry out its primary function."
Earlier in the summer, Ulster Bank told the Assembly's Enterprise Committee, which is chaired by Phil Flanagan, that compensation details would be finalised in July but weeks late details have just been revealed.
"Ulster Bank's senior management still have serious questions to answer and I expect that both the Enterprise Committee and the Finance and Personnel Committee will want to engage with them in the coming period," added Mr Flanagan.
Please exercise your right to complain get access to not just those out of pocket expenses, but for the distress that so many have experienced this summer.
SDLP Economy spokesperson Patsy McGlone said the £20 is "an insult" to the customers who were left out of pocket when a computer glitch affected the bank in June.
"How this is meant to compensate for their waiting time, let alone their journeys for multiple visits to the bank is beyond me.
"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," explained the Mid Ulster MLA.
Customers can also claim for what the bank calls "reasonable out of pocket expenses", which includes the price of phone calls, and travel to and from branches.
The Consumer Council said the announcement of compensation is the Ulster Bank's opportunity to put things right for customers, and restore confidence in the bank.
"We know that some customers still do not have their accounts rectified even today and that's why the Consumer Council is urging all customers of Ulster Bank to get access to the redress scheme and fill out the form," said Antoinette McKeown.
"I think £20 is a gesture to some customers in recognition from Ulster Bank that there has been disruption. It's tokenistic, absolutely, given the level of disruption that so many people have had."
More details on the compensation from Ulster Bank can be found on their website, and the Consumer Council site also has information about what and how to claim.