Wednesday 26 April 2017

NIB latest to charge customers for new accounts

Charlie Weston Personal Finance Editor

ANOTHER bank has stopped offering free banking to new current-account customers.

And it is expected that all banks will end up charging for the accounts by the end of the year.

National Irish Bank (NIB) will no longer offer free banking to those opening a current account.

This leaves just Ulster Bank as the only one that does not charge for current-account transactions for those who open a new account.

However, Ulster Bank is considering introducing charges.

And AIB will no longer allow its customers to use their Laser card to access savings accounts.

Customers who have a current account and a savings account will have to get another debit card if they want to get money from their savings account by using a bank machine.

Chairman of the Consumers Association Michael Kilcoyne accused banks of getting "nasty" with customers and said they would all end up charging for current accounts by the year's end.

They were determined to make consumers pay more, despite the taxpayer bailing out the domestic banks.

Changes

He called on the Central Bank to force banks regulated here to be more consumer friendly.

NIB, which does not accept cash or cheques in its branches, will now charge a quarterly fee for anyone opening one of its current accounts.

The changes do not affect existing customers, but anyone opening a new current account will face charges.

The Danish-owned bank surprised many when it emerged that it would no longer accept cheques from April.

In 2010, it stopped taking cash, forcing customers to go to a post office to lodge cash and cheques into an NIB account.

Now the bank is introducing a charge of €5 every three months for its 24/7 account, along with a 25c charge for ATM and Laser transactions.

There will be a 30c charge for cashing cheques up to April, after which it will no longer accept cheques in its 28 branches.

Higher quarterly fees apply to NIB's Easy Plus and Prestige current accounts.

A spokesman for the bank said existing customers who had an Easy account would not face transaction charges.

"This change is part of an ongoing restructuring of the bank's products and packages in line with evolving customer demand and new market conditions," the bank said.

Irish Independent

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