Ulster Bank: 13 branches to open on Sunday
*We will post regular updates throughout the day on the technical problems at Ulster Bank that are disrupting thousands of customers' day-to-day banking.*
** *The main points so far:* **
** *- Ulster Bank's payment systems disrupted, affecting salary transfers, pensions and social welfare* **
** *- Up to 100,000 people affected in Ireland, over seven million affected in Britain (NatWest)* **
** *- Problem believed to have been initiated in Britain with a software update that went wrong* **
** *- Ulster Bank branches to stay open until 7pm tonight, with 34 branches opening on Saturday and 13 branches opening on Sunday* **
** *- Bank to reimburse "out of pocket" customers* **
**5.30pm:** Ulster Bank has announced that it is to open 13 branches on Sunday. They are: Grafton Street, Dubdrum, Liffey Valley, Swords; Castlebar, Cavan, Dooradoyle; Galway, Letterkenny, Midleton; Mullingar, Naas and Wexford. More information on branches and bank opening times [here](http://www.ulsterbank.ie/roi/personal/generic/service-update.ashx).
The bank also says that it has "identified the technical issue" without saying what it is.
**5.13pm:** The bank has still not divulged the exact nature of the IT failure. Several reports in British newspapers attribute the technical glitches to a botched software upgrade.
**3.21pm:** Among the thousands of tweets from disaffected Ulster Bank customers are the following:
*@MarkKeaveney* Wages still not in my account, this is ridiculous Ulster Bank.
*@revolution_irl* Last month #UlsterBank charged me for missing a direct debit payment. Next week I am invoicing them for my money not arriving to my account
*@jonathanhealy* #UlsterBank won't do a live interview, despite being offered. Telling us it has to be prerecorded.
*@JohnMoynes* This #UlsterBank scandal wouldn't have happened if Henry the Hippo was still in charge.
**2.59pm:** As questions continue on what the source of the technical problem is, IT specialists have been giving their opinion about the possible cause of the problem.
"The problem is that IT systems have become vastly more complex," Michael Allen, director of IT service management at Compuware, told The Register. "Delivering an e-banking service could be reliant on 20 different IT systems. If even a small change is made to one of these systems, it can cause major problems for the whole banking service. Finding the root cause of the problem is probably something NatWest is struggling with because of the complexity of the IT systems in any bank."
**1.54pm:** Age Action has issued a statement confirming that pensioners whose pension payments have been delayed by the bank's computer problems can withdraw funds by calling to their nearest branch with proof of identity and a recent bank statement.
**1.45pm:** While Ulster Bank has not yet officially divulged the nature of the technical problem, it is [being reported](http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/natwest-working-round-the-clock-to-fix-technical-problems-7876247.html) that the difficulty occurred after staff tried to install a software update on RBS's payment processing system, but ended up corrupting it.
**1.13pm:** The chief operating officer of Ulster Bank in Ireland, Ellvena Graham, said that the bank may open on Sunday to facilitate customers disrupted by the bank's ongoing technical problems.
"If we need to we'll open the branches again on Sunday," Graham told RTE's News At One programme. "We honestly expect that the problem will be resolved by tomorrow, but it will definitely be resolved by Monday morning."
Graham also said that the bank will "reimburse any customers who find themselves out of pocket as a result of [the technical problems]".
**12.45pm:** ISME, the Irish Small & Medium Enterprises Association 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.
“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," said Mark Fielding, ISME's chief executive.
* Ulster Bank to extend the opening hours of 80 branches in major towns and cities until 7pm today to assist customers affected by a "major technical issue" that means their balances do not reflect recent payments.
* The bank's 60 Saturday-opening branches will open as usual this weekend.
* Ulster Bank is now operating on a two-day delay in processing payments. Many transactions due on Wednesday are still being processed.
* ATM and online banking services are available but are still reflecting a delay in customers' balances, Ulster Bank said.
**GUIDE TO THE PROBLEM ISSUED BY ULSTER BANK**
*The following is advice to Ulster Bank's customers issued by the bank on its website.*
**My salary/benefit payment was due into my bank account. What should I do?**
If you are trying to access a salary or benefit payment and you cannot access your funds via an ATM, you may wish to visit a branch. To help you with this, 80 of our branches will be open until the extended time of 7pm today and 60 Saturday opening branches will open as usual this weekend. If visiting a branch, please bring your ID and payments details.
**Why is my balance on my account not up to date?**
The Bank encountered a problem with its technology system in RBS which affected systems in NatWest, RBS and Ulster Bank.
**Have the transactions for Wednesday 20 June or Thursday 21 June been processed?**
Many credits and debits to your accounts from Wednesday 20 June and Thursday 21 June are still being processed as a result of the technical issue. We are working our way through this backlog of payments as quickly as possible.
**Can I see my balance on Anytime, Mobile Banking or on an ATM screen?**
The balance on Anytime Internet and Mobile Banking and ATM screen will not be up to date as it may not reflect transactions due to be applied to your account from Wednesday 20 June onwards.
**Will I be charged if my account is out of order?**
If you've experienced any charges or loss of interest please contact us and we will refund you fully.
**Contact desk: firstname.lastname@example.org. Sign up for our [free, daily newsletter](http://newsletter.thepost.ie).**