THE chief executive of the RBS Group yesterday unveiled plans to give refunds – but not compensation – to its customers in wake of its recent IT meltdown.
While the News Letter understands the details do not apply directly to Ulster Bank customers at this stage, it is understood the Northern Ireland division of RBS will unveil similar plans in the near future.
RBS CEO Stephen Hester said yesterday that in the coming days “we will be adjusting the accounts of affected customers to put them back to where they would have been had this problem not occurred”.
He added: “As well as automatically refunding unfair fees or charges, we will credit any interest they were wrongly charged or should have earned. We will ensure no customer’s credit rating is affected as a result of this incident. We will work to set the record straight before any credit reports are supplied to Experian.
“And to give peace of mind, we’re also writing to these customers with details of how they can receive a free credit check.
“The next step is to put things right for people who faced knock-on costs during the systems delay. Those who incurred extra costs will be reimbursed, whether they are our customers or not. We know there are customers of other banks who will have been affected and have worked closely with those banks to ensure they can resolve any such concerns. They should contact those banks about resolving their problems.
“Our customers can get in touch by calling one of our freephone numbers (0800 656 9639 or 0161 931 9959, and 0800 231232 or 028 9084 3556 for Ulster Bank), visiting our website, or by speaking to staff at their local branch. In many cases, our branch and call centre staff can resolve people’s concerns immediately.”
He added that “regrettably” Ulster Bank customers experienced problems “for longer” than NatWest or RBS.
“We have now largely caught up, and this week should be the final week of residual systems clean-up for these customers,” he said. “We will then begin putting things right for these customers too.”
Last week Ulster Bank CEO Jim Brown told the News Letter that customers will “not be out of pocket” due to the IT crisis in terms of charges and fees.
But as to actual compensation, he said that was “something we are looking at”. He could not give any clear commitment on whether compensation would be paid.