We thought it would be helpful to provide an update on the progress made since our earlier announcement and the two important steps we are taking for SME customers who were in GRG between 2008 and 2013.
Automatic refund of complex fees
Since our earlier announcement Ulster Bank Ireland DAC has:
- Completed a review of all SME customer files to establish whether they were charged complex fees whilst in GRG.
- We have identified all of our customers who are eligible for a refund of the complex fees they paid to us and have either processed their refund or contacted them for further information to facilitate the refund payment.
GRG complaints process
We have been addressing the complaints received from our customers and these are now being assessed through our GRG complaints process. If any of these customers are unhappy with the bank’s decision, they will have the opportunity to refer their complaint to the Independent Third Party (“ITP”). [The appeals process is subject to the oversight of the ITP and any appeals against the outcome of the complaint review will be adjudicated upon by the ITP]
We would encourage any customers with concerns about their treatment in GRG during the relevant period, including any matters relating to Republic of Ireland banking regulations at the time, to get in touch with our helpdesk team.
Our GRG FAQs will help you understand whether or not you are in scope for the GRG complaints process, means by which you can make a complaint, and how these complaints will be handled under CPC and SME Regulations.
Closure of GRG Complaints process to customers in ROI
The complaints process was opened to GRG customers in January 2017 alongside the Automatic Refund of Complex Fees process. GRG customers operating in ROI are eligible to make a complaint under the GRG complaints process if they were under the control of GRG in the period 2008-2013. In ROI the GRG complaints process closed on 31 December 2018 however there were some customers in ROI who were first informed of the GRG complaints process on 24 August 2018 and these customer have until 31 August 2019 to submit a complaint. However they must outline their intention to complain by 31 March 2019 to ensure that they have access to the appeals process overseen by the Independent Third Party and a final complaint must be received within the subsequent 12 weeks.
Customers who wish to make a complaint once the scheme has closed will be able to avail of the bank’s usual complaints procedure, including access to the Financial Services and Pensions Ombudsman appeals process but will not be able to appeal the outcome to the Independent Third Party.
Sir William Blackburne (Independent Third Party) has been consulted in respect of the closure of the GRG complaints process.
To date, 177 complaints have been received by the GRG complaints helpdesk, 161 of which fall within the scope of the GRG complaints process. 47 of these have been assessed with outcome letters issued. The Bank has upheld 17 complaints in full or in part, making offers of €235k for direct losses*
*Complaints data as at 25th January 2019.