BANK of Ireland customers who used debit cards to pay for goods and services have been charged on the double.
SARAH MCCABE – 22 JANUARY 2014
The bank is now scrambling to provide refunds after admitting it overcharged for certain transactions made with debit cards.
It is the latest is a series of over-charging bungles to hit the country's biggest banks and comes just weeks after Bank of Ireland and rival AIB were hit by payment blunders that affected thousands of shoppers.
In this latest case, some customers were debited twice for single transactions made last Friday, January 17.
The transactions all involved Visa debit cards, the bank's flagship debit card product that has replaced Laser cards.
Bank of Ireland would not say how many customers were affected, but admitted that "a file" of accounts was involved.
It also declined to say what caused the glitch. adding that it was working to reverse the duplicate charges.
Price comparison site Bonkers.ie urged the bank's customers to view the duplicate charges as a call for vigilance.
"We urge vigilance among all Bank of Ireland customers," said Bonkers.ie's Simon Moynihan.
"Since the bank won't say how many people this affected, it must be taken as a call for caution among all of their customers. People must watch their accounts closely and make sure every penny going out makes sense."
However, BoI assured customers that no penalty charges would be imposed as a result of the mistake. The Central Bank said it was aware of the issues and had been in contact with BoI. The regulator said it had been reassured that the errors would be resolved.
The Financial Services Ombudsman told the Irish Independent it had not yet received any complaints relating to the duplicate charging at BoI, but that this was not unusual given that it had only just been discovered.
It said any customers unhappy with the bank's response should get in contact and request an investigation.
The development comes one month after Ulster Bank admitted a problem that resulted in payments for customers being delayed. The lender did not say how many customers were affected but stressed that anyone who was out of pocket due to the breakdown could claim back for the loss.
This was the fourth time in a year and-a-half that Ulster Bank had been crippled by a payments system failure.
Last August, former building society EBS was forced to apologise after double-charging thousands.