Banking fiasco - Angy customers ‘will walk’

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A Derry woman caught up in the IT fiasco at the Ulster Bank says she won’t be surprised if customers leave the beleaguered bank in their thousands.

Gayle McClelland, an administrator of an online campaign group calling for compensation for customers from the Ulster Bank, is one of thousands of people across the North unable to access their money.

Speaking to the ‘Journal’ yesterday, as the crisis entered its 12th day, she said: “This has been a complete and utter nightmare for customers, and the bank have treated people with a complete lack of respect.

“Ulster Bank, which don’t forget is 84% owned by the taxpayer, have failed to provide customers with any kind of a duty of care.”

Yesterday Ulster Bank said progress is being made as they work to resolve the worst technical banking failure in living memory. But they warned it would still be some time until normal service was resumed.

“We target that customers should see their balances updating during the coming week. However, normal service will take some further time as our experience from dealing with the same issues in the UK suggests that there may be bumps along the road,” a statement read.

But Ms McClelland says customers who have joined the Facebook campaign group ‘We want compensation from the Ulster Bank’ are becomingly increasingly frustrated and angry.

“There are a number of common themes - people having to borrow money to cover bills, services being cut off because of a lack of payment, bank charges being applied because the money isn’t there to cover direct debits - people’s patience is wearing thin.

“In the rest of the UK many of the issues are now resolved, they don’t seem to care about Northern Ireland.

“Someone needs to be held accountable. What we are hearing online is that people will be switching banks, myself included, once this is all resolved. It wouldn’t surprise me if thousands of customers went elsewhere.”

The group has garnered more than 600 members - SDLP MLA Pat Ramsey among them - in just over 48 hours.

Meanwhile the bank’s branches in Derry will remain open until 7pm this week as the IT crisis rumbles on.