Law Society of Northern Ireland releases guidance to firms over Ulster Bank difficulties

The Law Society of Northern Ireland has sent communications to its members containing guidance for those firms completing conveyancing transactions where the lender is Ulster Bank.  
The technical issues which were also experienced by NatWest and RBS are still causing difficulties at Ulster Bank.  The computer system problems arose on 19th June and it is expected that customers will not experience a normal service until the week commencing 16th July.  
These computer problems have led to issues with conveyancing transactions, as firms completing are concerned that funds are not available.  The issues have meant that solicitors have not been able to be sure that they have cleared funds in their client accounts before making the payment to the vendor.  
Ulster Bank has agreed to provide indemnities to firms in relation to clients’ funds as a mechanism allowing completions to take place whilst their computer issues are being resolved.  The indemnity is provided for both residential and commercial conveyancing.  Completion of the indemnity will serve as proof that funds have been received by Ulster Bank, and so solicitors can use the indemnity to complete the conveyancing transaction.  
Jim Brown, CEO of Ulster Bank commented:
“We know that customers are frustrated and they are right to be.  Our efforts to fix this are paying off and over the last few days we have been able to gain a much clearer picture about when we expect all systems to be largely back to normal.  We expect gradual and significant improvements for our customers and each day we will see more transactions processing, fewer problems with our systems, and less inconvenience for our customers.”
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