Ulster Bank chief to turn down bonus

Published Thursday, 05 July 2012
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Ulster Bank's chief executive has said he will refuse his annual bonus after a technical problem left hundreds of thousands of customers without cash.

Ulster Bank chief to turn down bonus
Senior bank officials are due to brief a Stormont committee. (© PA)

Jim Brown revealed on Thursday that he will not put his name forward for the extra money, but earlier in the day he refused to respond to calls for his resignation.

"Everyone at Ulster Bank is completely focused on putting things right for our customers. I don't want there to be any doubt that this is also my personal priority," he said in a statement.

"I am personally committed to re-earning the trust of our customers. I have therefore informed the Ulster Bank board that I do not wish to be considered for an annual bonus award for 2012."

Earlier Mr Brown told the Enterprise, Trade and Investment Committee at Stormont that the bank will reach a decision on the issue of compensation for their customers over the next few days.

He said they would be announcing details soon, as Ulster Bank comes under increasing pressure to assist those affected by the crisis for over two weeks.

He also promised an independent investigation into the IT failure which affected the updating of accounts, direct debit payments, benefits and mortgages and left many customers with unpaid bills.

The bank is still trying to work out exactly what went wrong. It knows an upgrade of the system failed. But it's not clear why.

UTV's Business Editor Jamie Delargy

"It is unacceptable and our customers should expect better from us," Mr Brown said.

"No customer will be left out of pocket as a result of this incident."

When the investigation by the bank into the incident is complete, its findings will be released to the public.

A chief at RBS, the Ulster Bank's parent company, also told MLAs the IT breakdown experienced on 19 June was unprecedented.

Chris Sullivan, head of corporate banking at RBS, told the Stormont committee the crisis was at a scale never seen before in global banking.

"We have already committed at RBS group level to an independent review. We have to know what went wrong here," he said.

"This is a totally unprecedented situation, for any bank worldwide, as far as we can see. So every bank in the world is watching," he said.

Prime Minister David Cameron told Northern Ireland MPs in the House of Commons on Wednesday that the ongoing crisis was "unacceptable".

Ulster Bank said it expects normal services to resume by 16 July.

© UTV News
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14 Comments
Amc in L'Derry wrote (742 days ago):
Turn down bonus - why does he think he should be getting one ! Think the staff on the front line should be getting payments for the abuse they have had to take over this mess. If everybody pulled their accounts he wouldnt have a job never mind a bonus
Noelle in Omagh wrote (746 days ago):
I agree with him not taking his bonus but don't think people should be calling for his head and looking him to resign. At the end of the day he didn't cause the problem. I hope the money he would have been given will be used to compensate us customers who have had to put up with this disaster.
g young in omagh wrote (746 days ago):
dont understand why he would be getting a bonus to start with wouldnt happen in any other organisation...disgraceful!
PAT in dundonald wrote (746 days ago):
Mr Brown should be looking for another job never mind refusing his bonus. Why would he get a bonus for a job badly done???????????? There should have been backup of the transactions then this calamity would never have happened!!!!!!!!!!!!
what about the customers in bangor wrote (747 days ago):
the monies that he turned down should be used to help pay compensation to the customers of this farce?customers would be in uproar if he had taken this bonus?lets hope ulster bank dont think that they can offer a paltry sum in compensation to make us happy? £100 should be the least each customer should get?the bank will soon make these monies back from us.
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