New BoI fees to hit more customers
BAILED-out Bank of Ireland was accused last night of squeezing its one million customers for extra income.
Days before Christmas, the bank has admitted it has made changes which will result in some customers paying fees and charges for the first time.
Up to now, customers were able to avoid the fees by making minimal use of their bank account. But now the bank will impose fees on current account customers who fail to meet stringent new rules.
Customers will have to make at least nine payments every quarter through their current accounts. If they do not meet this target they will be hit with charges and fees for using their bank accounts.
Last night the bank admitted that the changes due to come into effect in February are likely to see thousands of current account customers paying fees for the first time.
At the moment anyone who keeps a balance of at least €500 in their current account or makes three payments every three months qualifies for free banking.
But from February 21, account holders will have to have at least €1,000 a month going into their account and make nine payments or more every quarter.
Customers who do not meet the new criteria will be charged 28c per transaction.
A spokeswoman for the bank admitted it was attempting to pass on some of the costs of running current accounts to its customers, despite the bank getting €3.5bn from taxpayers in a bailout.
But it insisted that the majority of its customers would still qualify for free banking using its Pay As You Go and Flat Fee current accounts.
Last night, the radical change in the terms and conditions of bank's current account was condemned by Dermott Jewell of the Consumers' Association.
Mr Jewell, the chief executive of the independent consumer lobby group, accused the bank of hitting consumers on the double.