Considerations If Your Bank Is Exiting The Irish Market.
In February 2021 NatWest, the owner of Ulster Bank, announced it was to exit the Republic of Ireland after over 160 years.
In April 2021 KBC, after operating in Ireland for over 40 years, announced its intentions to leave Ireland also.
Bank of Scotland / Hallifax, Danske Bank (formerly National Irish Bank) and Rabobank (which owned ACC) have all pulled out of the Irish market over the past decade or so. Having said that, no player as big as Ulster Bank has ever left, and definitely not two banks at the same time.
So what do you need to do if you hold an account in either of these banks?
Ulster Bank has sold its performing mortgages, where there are no repayment issues, to Permanent TSB and AIB. You do not need to do anything and if you are on a fixed rate, when this expires you’ll move to one of your new banks fixed or variable rate loans.
KBC has sold their performing loans to Bank of Ireland. If you are on a fixed rate you’ll have to choose one of Bank of Irelands fixed rate products for existing customers, when the period of your fixed term ends.
If you have an overdraft, you will have to clear this before you close your account in either bank, however the banks have said that they will work with customers who are not in a position to repay this.
If you have a mortgage with Ulster Bank and receive a discount for paying it back from an Ulster Bank current account, you won't lose the discount if you change your current account. Likewise if you have a mortgage with KBC and receive a discount for paying it back from a KBC current account, you won't lose the discount if you change current account after 1st June.
From 1st June, KBC are writing to their customers, over a 14 month period, giving them 6 months’ notice to close their account. Any fees from the date it gives you 6 months’ notice, will be waived.
Ulster Bank is giving customers 6 months’ notice also to close accounts and is in the process of writing to customers, this will go on into 2023.
If you don’t close your account within the 6 month timeframe, Ulster Bank and KBC will issue you a cheque with the balance in your account.
KBC’s deal with Bank of Ireland includes personal loans so you don’t have to do anything. However no deal has been reached yet about Ulster Bank personal loans.
Again there is no deal regarding Ulster Banks deposit book so 6 months’ notice will be given to customers to close accounts. If you don’t do anything, Ulster Bank will issue you a cheque with the balance.
For KBC customers, its deal with Bank of Ireland includes savings accounts, so this is where your money transfer to.
For KBC customers, your credit card will transfer to Bank of Ireland, credit limits will remain the same. You will be issued with a new credit card and PIN so this will have to be updated wherever you use your credit card.
Ulster Bank will give its credit card customers 6 months’ notice to close their accounts and either pay the full balance due or switch to a new provider.
There is a Central Bank Code that all banks must follow to make switching accounts easy. The banks must work together to transfer your direct debits and standing orders and to have your new account open within 10 days. You’ll also need to inform your employer, social welfare and Revenue of your new bank details. It is important to remember to leave sufficient funds in your account to cover bank charges and interest that is due, or else your account won’t close.
As always, the team at DBASS are here to help if you require any assistance with these important changes to your business banking. Ph. 01 849 88 00 or email : firstname.lastname@example.org
By Susan Clegg
DBASS Chartered Accountants
This article is for discussion purposes only. For further information on any of the topics covered in this article please contact a DBASS adviser on ph. 01 849 88 00.