The compensation scheme announced by Ulster Bank aimed at almost 600,000 customers who were affected by IT problems at the bank has been described as “insulting and derisory” by Senator Lorraine Higgins.
In a statement reacting to the Ulster Bank restitution scheme, Senator Higgins said a one-off payment of €25 to customers who had to go branch during the crisis did not adequately address the stress, inconvenience and hardship endured by them at this time.
“I find it incredible that Ulster Bank would offer such an insulting and derisory compensation scheme. The Bank is once more failing to recognise the difference between restitution and compensation,” she told the Leitrim Observer.
“This compensation, including €120 for out of pocket expenses simply adds insult to the original injury,” said Senator Higgins. “And there is no acknowledgement whatsoever, financial or otherwise, of the shabby treatment of Ulster Bank’s customers here – they were effectively put at the end of the queue while the computer glitch was solved elsewhere first.
“Ulster Bank has also been short on detail on the key issues arising from this banking scandal – they have said that it intends to ensure credit ratings aren’t affect. The Bank needs to be far more pro-active in this area than merely expressly an inspiration, some almost three months after the problem first arose,” added Senator Higgins.
“What the Bank has announced is a restitution scheme, not a compensation scheme and it doesn’t address the legal and rightful claims of its customers to full and proper financial redress,” said Senator Higgins. “It’s also quite significant that Ulster Bank is not disclosing a detailed costing of the restitution as they are clearly hoping to get out of this fiasco on the cheap. I also find it telling that the Financial Services Ombudsman is being quoted as saying that anyone not happy with their award can appeal. I would urge Ulster Bank customers to seek their own independent legal advice before accepting this deal that has been put before them,” said Senator Higgins.