One of Ireland’s leading banks the Ulster Bank has been fined €3.5m by the Central Bank for the unexpected IT failures that affected over 600,000 customers back in the summer of 2012.
The bank has also been reprimanded by the financial authority over the failure, who said the bank had unequivocally failed to have adequate governance and control measures to deal with problems within its technology systems. The unexplained IT issues occurred over a month-long period between June and July 2012 which affected customers’ ATM withdrawals, card purchases and the processing of payments including salaries.
The Central Bank has said the issue caused “significant and unacceptable inconvenience” to all customers and threatened confidence in the wider retail banking sector due to the knock-on effect it had on other banks’ payments. They went onto say that the €3.5m fine was the highest it had imposed to date and was in addition to the €59m the bank payed out for its affected customers. Meanwhile the Ulster Bank have said that it accepted the Central Bank’s findings in full, with the banks chief executive Jim Brown saying that they had let down customers through the failure.
In a brief statement Mr Brown said: “The inconvenience that was caused to our customers went to the heart of the trust they have in us as a bank and we are quite clear that they should never have to experience anything like this ever again,”.