Tipperary Independent TD Mattie McGrath has called for Bank of Ireland to show accountability in its approach to reclaiming money which customers were allowed to withdraw from accounts due to a technical error.
He said that: “Bank of Ireland cannot be allowed to make more money out of an error it made, profiting from its own mistake by charging huge overdraft fees and interest rates on people.”
Videos posted to social media showed people queuing up at ATM machines in Dublin as news of the IT glitch spread. Customers who had very low funds money in their bank accounts were able to withdraw or transfer up to €1,000 because of the glitch.
The bank has now warned customers that the money withdrawn from ATMs will still be debited to their accounts and they will have to pay it back in full. Others reported that they were able to add money they didn’t have in their bank accounts to their Revolut balances during the glitch.
An Garda Síochana reported there had been an “unusual volume of activity” at some ATMs throughout the country after reports spread of people lining up to withdraw money at Bank of Ireland cash machines. It also said it was aware of issues regarding BOI banking services on Tuesday – during which time the bank’s online and app services were down.
There was controversy last night when it emerged that officers were deployed to guard cash machines after videos of large queues were posted on social media from Dublin and Limerick.
Tipperary Independent TD Mattie McGrath has addressed the scandal. He appealed for fairness and “common sense” in dealing with the fiasco.
“This shouldn’t have happened in the first place, but it was a mistake with Bank of Ireland’s technology that allowed this to happen,” he said.
He addressed the issue of overdraft charges on the money. Bank of Ireland’s authorised overdraft facility has an annual rate of 16.2 per cent, meaning the prospect of hefty interest fees if Bank of Ireland pursues unauthorised overdraft fees for those who did not have sufficient funds in their accounts.
“I am now calling for common sense and for the regulator to ensure that Bank of Ireland do not charge interest rates on this money, and do not demand this money back over a very short period of time. I believe there should be no interest charged on this money if it is paid back willingly over a period of time.
“Bank of Ireland cannot be allowed to make more money out of an error it made, profiting from its own mistake by charging huge overdraft fees and interest rates on people who may have acted on a whim.”
Finance Minister Michael McGrath has also addressed the technical outage, saying in a statement that he has asked the Central Bank of Ireland to establish a full account of “what happened, why it happened and what will be done to avoid a repeat.”
“My officials have been in contact with the Central Bank of Ireland and Bank of Ireland today,” he said.
“Given our growing dependence on technology for the delivery of financial services, I have asked my officials to engage with the Central Bank on its assessment of this Bank of Ireland incident, and more broadly the robustness of the technology systems used by regulated, customer-facing financial service providers here in Ireland, and whether any further steps are required to reduce the risk of outages that impact on customers.
“From my point of view as Minister for Finance, financial service providers have to do whatever is required to ensure continuity of service for their customers. This is vital for the normal functioning of our society and our economy.
“Disruption to banking services can have a significant effect on people’s personal lives and on the running of businesses. Customers rightly have an expectation of a high quality of service and to be able to have uninterrupted access to services.”