100,000 Postbank customers are given just weeks to close accounts
Published 25/06/2010 | 05:00
ALMOST 100,000 account holders of Postbank, the joint venture between An Post and French bank BNP that is due to close, have been told they have just weeks to shut their accounts.
Some 100,000 people have already closed current and savings accounts with the bank that operated in 1,000 post offices.
Before it announced in February that it was closing, Postbank had opened 200,000 accounts since it was set up three years ago. It was widely acknowledged to offer one of the least expensive current accounts. It also offered insurance, credit cards, savings and investments, and had plans to offer loans and mortgages.
The bank has written to its customers telling them that they have 60 days from the date of the letter to close their accounts.
It is also telling those who have three- and five-year fixed savings accounts to close these and withdraw their money.
In the case of Halifax which closed its 44 branches in the past week, long-term savings accounts are being kept open until they mature -- because Halifax will still operate as a bank in the UK.
Because Postbank is winding down completely, all accounts have to close with the exception of credit card accounts as the cards are provided by MBNA.
Postbank said in the letter to those with current accounts: "After the 60 days from the date of letter, it will no longer be possible to make withdrawals or access online banking with your ATM/debit card.
"We will also cancel all payment instructions, such as standing orders, direct debits and overdraft facilities on this date."
Already 100,000 accounts have been closed, but a similar number have yet to be closed, a spokesman for the bank said.
Customers with current accounts are being told they have until mid-August to close their accounts. Those with savings accounts have until the end of September to close their accounts.
Special arrangements were being made for those who have State pensions or social welfare payments paid into their Postbank accounts, the spokesman added. These people are being provided with forms to help them switch accounts to another bank.
The closure of the bank will mean up to 150 of its 260 staff are likely to lose their jobs.