EBS hits customers with new range of charges
EBS customers will be hit with a range of new banking charges -- including a fee of €1.27 for issuing customers with their own money in a cheque and a charge of 30c for ATM withdrawals.
Customers can avoid some of the charges by lodging €1,500 into the account every month.
However, EBS last night admitted people were unlikely to have their wages lodged to the bank as it does not offer a conventional current account.
And it is only able to offer a limited direct debit and standing order service.
The new EBS charges coincide with the former building society introducing Mastercard debit cards, for which there are no transaction fees. Up to now most account holders with EBS had cards which only operated as ATM cards and not debit cards. Like a Laser card, with a debit card you can only spend what you have in the account.
The former mutual, which is now State-owned, has now started to replace the ATM cards with new Mastercards which function as ATM and debit cards. EBS has 400,000 customers, with many of them attracted to open accounts because there were no charges for having an account.
Earlier this year it was taken over by AIB but it is to be run separately. In the past few days EBS has begun to write to customers with details about the new debit cards and warning them about the new charges.
The new 30c charge for an ATM withdrawal or a cash withdrawal from an EBS office is higher than Bank of Ireland or AIB. BoI charges 28c for those who do not qualify for free banking, with AIB charging 20c.
Customers of EBS will be able to make five free withdrawals a month if they lodge €1,500 to the account each month or if they keep a minimum balance of €500 in the account.
The new fees will apply from the start of next year. A number of customers have been in contract with the Irish Independent upset about the new charges.
This year has seen banks introducing a string of charges. BoI has made it very difficult to avoid fees and charges. From February, customers who do not have a minimum balance of €3,000 per quarter (or €1,000 a month) in their account will be hit with new fees.