Nearly 300,000 people switched bank accounts ahead of Ulster and KBC exits

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The number of consumers switching bank accounts has increased as Ulster Bank and KBC closures draw closer.

he three main banks, Credit Unions and An Post have opened almost 300,000 personal current accounts so far this year, according to the Banking and Payments Federation Ireland.

The bulk of new account openings would have been with the three main banks: AIB, Bank of Ireland and Permanent TSB.

Almost 50,000 of new account openings are with credit unions, the Irish League of Credit Unions said.

About 500,000 current account holders have to find new service providers for day-to-day banking with the imminent departure of KBC and Ulster Bank from this market.

Banking sources said the pace of bank account openings was catching up after a slow start earlier this year.

They pointed out that some people have not yet been told by Ulster Bank or KBC that they have six months to close their account and open one with another provider.

On average, 11,000 new accounts a week are opened at the three major banks, credit unions and An Post.

Two payment service organizations for credit unions and An Post are members of the Banking and Payments Federation Ireland.

The banking group said the number of consumer current account openings continued to grow through June and early July.

Around 71,000 personal current accounts were opened in the four weeks ending July 8.

That’s up from 56,000 in the previous four weeks. And that’s more than double the total in the four weeks to April 15.

The banking federation said its members had now opened 297,000 personal current accounts this year, up to July 8.

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