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Calls for Ulster Bank crisis summit
Shadow Northern Ireland secretary Vernon Coaker has called for an emergency summit to help Ulster Bank customers
Labour has called on the Government to hold an emergency summit to help customers affected by the technical problems which hit Ulster Bank.
Shadow Northern Ireland secretary Vernon Coaker urged the coalition to deal with the "crisis" facing families in the wake of the IT meltdown at RBS and NatWest.
Northern Ireland Office minister Hugo Swire hit back, saying the Government was committed to ensuring the "sorry debacle" was cleared up quickly.
Its independent commission on banking reform was, he added, looking at the future of banking and was "another example" of the Government "walking around with a giant pooper scooper to clear up the mess" left by Labour.
Mr Coaker said: "Does the minister agree that the ongoing problems at Ulster Bank underline the need to look at how banks operate? This is frankly a crisis, many families can't pay their mortgage, their rent, get their groceries, buy food, or put petrol in their car and older people can't get access to their pensions. The minister has told us about what he's done, what is he doing to try and sort this mess out?"
Mr Swire replied: "If he doesn't know the answer, we do and that is to make sure that this sorry debacle involving an IT problem with the Royal Bank of Scotland and Ulster Bank which affected the whole of the UK, let's face it, is cleared up and cleared up quickly, so that people can go about their normal business in Northern Ireland."
Mr Coaker branded it a "complacent answer that does nothing to say to the people of Northern Ireland what actually should be done".
He added: "What the Secretary of State should have done, what the minister should have done and what they should be doing now is to call an emergency summit, get a summit together of all the people who are responsible for this. Bring them together, the Treasury, the officials at the Treasury, the RBS senior management.
"Get them together and get them to recognise the seriousness of this problem and to get it sorted and to get a grip and that's what the minister should do."
DUP parliamentary group leader Nigel Dodds said it was unacceptable that 15 days after the problem appeared, individuals, households and businesses still could not get access to their money in the normal way. He asked what measures were being made to provide "a bit more flexibility for those who may be facing cash flow problems" and argued compensation must be paid in full in all circumstances.
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