5 July 2022
By Tom Collins
With the departure of Ulster Bank and KBC from the Irish banking market in 2023, the withdrawal of its banking activity and financial services is underway, requiring almost one million customers to switch bank account providers. Customers are currently being contacted on a phased basis by both banks, notifying them of their account closure and the requirement to switch to another provider.
MABS, the Money Advice and Budgeting Service, is advising affected customers to switch bank provider sooner rather than later to avoid a last-minute dash that may cause issues for customers. Whether you have been written to or not, you should start looking at your options to avoid any last-minute delays, according to MABS.
For customers who don’t close their account within the six month time frame, Ulster Bank and KBC will close their accounts, issuing a cheque for their account funds. Ulster Bank and KBC will be contacting customers into 2023, giving six months’ notice once they have been written to in order to close their accounts.
Encouraging customers to explore their options sooner rather than later, Ursula Collins, Regional Manager, South Munster MABS said, “It’s important that KBC and Ulster Bank customers don’t delay with the switch-over process to a new bank in order to ensure a smooth transition. If left until the last minute, customers may face problems such as interruptions to direct debits, regular payments and social welfare etc., if a new account has not yet been opened when their existing account is officially closed. It’s important to be mindful that items such as standing orders etc. will all need to be set up again and this can require some time.”
Ursula added: “Customers should take time to research their options, choosing a provider that best suits their needs and individual situation. Customers should also allow time for the account set up process, bearing in mind the longer wait times if you need to meet in person with your existing or new provider.”
For those concerned about incurring two sets of bank fees during the switch-over process, KBC will not charge maintenance fees on current accounts once the six month account closure notice has been issued.
For more information on MABS and to find your local office, visit www.mabs.ie or call their helpline on 0818 07 2000, available Monday to Friday from 9 am to 8 pm.