A Dublin Government minister has hit out over the amount of grief caused by banks as she attacked Ulster Bank for an IT meltdown which left thousands of customers without cash.
Joan Burton, Minister for Social Protection, warned that 30,000 people on benefits could be left unable to buy food and groceries this weekend.
"Given all of the grief that banks have caused to people in Ireland, I really think that the bank needs to address this particular situation with absolute urgency," she said.
"They have to look at the situation of people over the weekend, particularly older people, who spend all their social welfare income. For some of the people at the top of the banks, 100 euro might not seem a lot but it is to a pensioner."
Ulster Bank has revealed it is a two-day delay in processing some wage cheques and welfare payments. The Central Bank says it is monitoring the situation.
The bank apologised unreservedly to customers for what it called a major IT issue. It was initially believed that it was only one day behind with processing cheques, direct debits and standing orders.
Some 80 Ulster Bank branches will open today until 7pm in major towns and cities and another 60 Saturday-opening branches will do so as usual this weekend.
NatWest, the Royal Bank of Scotland and Ulster Bank were all affected by the IT meltdown.
The bank is offering to refund and pay any charges or loss of interest to customers.
"We have been working to minimise the impact for our customers and customers of other banks. We continue to work to resolve this issue and to minimise the impact. We will ensure that those Ulster Bank customers who are affected do not suffer any financial loss," Ulster Bank said on its website.