Why lost bank cards can prove costly at Christmas
More than 300,000 people in Northern Ireland have lost or had their bank card stolen at some point during the last three years, new research has revealed.
The study, which involved 1,000 people and was carried out by Kantar Millward Brown for Ulster Bank, shows that more than 8,000 people here lose or have their bank card stolen each month.
The Christmas period is a peak time for the problem.
People from the north of the province are the most likely to find themselves cardless, while those from Belfast and the west are the least likely.
The figures point to the period between early December and the New Year being a 'hot-spot' for Christmas shoppers losing their cards, with more than 130,000 people saying they had done so during this period.
More than 180,000 people said they had found themselves without access to their bank card when Christmas shopping because they had lost, misplaced or forgotten it, or had had it stolen.
Ulster Bank Anytime customers can now withdraw up to £300 by calling the bank to get a code to use at any Ulster Bank ATM.
Ulster Bank's managing director of personal banking, Sean Murphy, said: "We know that Christmas is a really busy time when people use their bank cards more than normal and they are also distracted by all of the activities that go with Christmas.
"So, it is not surprising that people are likely to find themselves without their bank card at this time of year."