Friday, June 22 11:52:57
ISME has demanded assurances from Ulster Bank management that small and medium businesses will not be penalised as a result of the computer meltdown in the bank.
Both Ulster Bank customers and clients of other banks will have cash flow difficulties through no fault of their own. The bailed-out and rescued banks will have to cooperate to ensure that all costs are borne by the banks and not foisted on SME customers, the real victims of this debacle, ISME said.
Commenting, ISME Chief Executive, Mark Fielding stated "The Irish banking sector has a duty of care to their customers and must now ensure that any extra costs, referral charges, interest and surcharge interest are cancelled. The number of business customers directly affected must be accommodated immediately and the other banks must ensure that their customers are facilitated when Ulster bank transfers are delayed, causing cash shortages."
"It beggars belief that a bank does not have the back-up facilities to deal with a 'hacking attack' and also poses questions about why the Irish system, presumably much smaller that its UK counterpart, takes five to six days to rectify. In a modern economy, business depends on the banking system to at least function. It now seems as if not alone are the banks not lending but we cannot depend on them to transact normal business," he continued.
The Association called on the Central Bank to initiate an immediate investigation into the Ulster Bank debacle and ensure that all banks trading in the country have a failsafe system, so sadly lacking in Ulster Bank. The Government must also pre-empt any bank decision by instructing the bailed-out banks not to charge customers for the bank's shortcomings, Mr Fielding said.