Finance Minister expresses disappointment to RBS Chairman

Finance Minister Sammy Wilson MP has met with Sir Philip Hampton, Chairman of the RBS Group, to discuss the ongoing technological breakdown in Ulster Bank’s processing systems.

Commenting after the meeting at Parliament Buildings, Sammy Wilson said: “As Ulster Bank’s problems with its payments systems persist into another week, I am very aware of the untold concern it is causing to countless customers across Northern Ireland. Not only is it denying people quick and easy access to their own cash but it is placing some people in real hardship and affecting businesses in their day to day operations.

“I welcome the opportunity to discuss the matter in detail with Sir Philip and bring directly to his attention the worries all of us have about the impact this is having upon businesses and individuals.

“I relayed to Sir Philip our disappointment that several public assurances as to when the problem would be fixed have come and gone with no definite date for when the system will be back to normal. This has been a communications disaster by Ulster Bank leading to the widely held view that Northern Ireland customers have been treated as second class within the RBS Group.

“I have been informed that Ulster Bank are on course to solve the problem but that the pace of fixing the problem has been slowed by the build-up of a back log of transactions. I impressed upon Ulster Bank the need to get this sorted out as quickly as possible but they are unable to say precisely when it will be resolved.

“In the meantime, I understand that Ulster Bank are to extend opening hours at a further 10 branches to allow people to get their money. I appreciate the efforts being put in by frontline Ulster Bank staff and understand the pressures they must be under.

“Ulster Bank are of critical importance to the Northern Ireland economy, holding, as they do, such a large share of the local market. It is hugely important that, moving forward, this sort of problem doesn’t arise again.”