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Dublin: 13 °C Saturday 25 October, 2014

Bank of Ireland will not be able to pay salaries until tomorrow morning

Some public (and private) workers woke up today to find no salary in their bank account.

Image: empty pocket via Shutterstock

Updated 11:02

BANK OF IRELAND has confirmed that a delay in their own processes meant that many public and private sector workers were not paid as expected this morning.

They will now not be paid until tomorrow morning.

There was a flood of complaints this morning from workers in the public service that salary payments have not been lodged as expected in their bank accounts. A similar issue appeared to have occurred for private sector workers banking with Bank of Ireland.

Gardai, nurses, members of the Defence Forces, primary school teachers, university staff as well as some employees with Irish Rail and An Post took to social media, email and online forums to ask why they have not been paid.

After several hours of investigating the problem, Bank of Ireland confirmed that there had been a delay in one file and this had affected some payments. This was their spokesperson’s statement:

I can confirm that a payment of credits was delayed last night and will not be processed until this evening.This delay only affected one file and the majority of BOI payments processed in a timely manner.The Bank apologies profusely to those customers affected and wishes to reassure them that the credits will be in their account by first thing tomorrow morning.

The spokesperson also told TheJournal.ie that additional charges normally associated with late payments from accounts to service direct debits etc. will be waived on this occasion as the fault is with BoI. “If anyone has serious issues, they should contact their local branch immediately,” she said.

Earlier this morning, Financial Shared Services (FSS), which operates the payroll for the public sector out of their offices in Killarney, Co Kerry, said that they could confirm that it is the case that no public servant had received payment this morning into their accounts.

The assistant principal of FSS said this morning that it was an issue with processing through Bank of Ireland.

FSS uses Bank of Ireland to send out payments for the gardai, for civil servants who are paid fortnightly and a few smaller groups. This means that even if an individual employee has their personal account with another financial institution, their payments this morning will have been affected by the BoI issue.

Employees with the Prison Service were not due to be paid this week, so even though FSS processes their salaries, this issue will not affect them.

However, it appears that it is not just workers in the public sector that are affected. From the comments section on this article alone:

A spokesperson for Bank of Ireland originally suggested to TheJournal.ie that the issue might have been related to how SEPA payments are made. While the Single Euro Payments Area system has been in place for several months now, she said:

We are not aware of any major delays. It could be a consequence of SEPA payments which are processed throughout the day, rather than once at the start of the day.

Although that turned out not to be the case, there has been a problem with SEPA payments when they are due around a bank holiday anywhere in Europe – a similar delay popped up on the Thursday before the June bank holiday, according to a Government department source.

TheJournal.ie also contacted Government Information and a spokesperson said they were investigating where the process had broken down.

One of the departments whose payroll was affected by the delay is the Department of Education. A spokesperson there told TheJournal.ie:

Salaries due for payment on 31 July 2014 have not transferred to the bank accounts of primary teachers, special needs assistants and other non-teaching staff paid on payrolls operated by the Department.In addition pensions due for payment on 31 July 2014 have not transferred to the bank accounts of retired teachers and non-teaching staff paid on payrolls operated by the Department.

The Department has been advised by Bank of Ireland that on Wednesday, 30 July 2014 the bank experienced a technical issue which resulted in some customer files being processed a day late. Bank of Ireland disperse all salary and pension payments to all other financial institutions on behalf of the Department.

Therefore, all salary and pension payments that were due to be credited to all accounts today - 31 July 2014 are expected to be credited first thing tomorrow morning – 1 August 2014.

Understandably, especially in the run-up to the long weekend, people are not happy:

The INTO called the non-payment of salaries “unacceptable”:

The delay in paying salaries to primary teachers had caused a great deal of worry, disruption and unnecessary hardship. No-one affected by this situation should be at any financial loss as a result of the delay.

Explainer: What is this SEPA thing all about?>

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