'My AIB Laser card cost me €200'
ANDREW Houlihan may have been with the same bank for half of his life, but that did not stop him deciding to make the big switch.
Having to pay big fees every three months to AIB has meant he has finally said goodbye to the bank, and moved to Permanent TSB.
"AIB is now charging fees of up to 30c every time you use your Laser card. I use my Laser card a lot and it was costing me between €50 and €60 every three months. Over a year, that works out at €200. The only way to avoid the fees is to have €2,500 in the AIB account at all times," he said.
Mr Houlihan, who lives in Ringsend in Dublin, decided recently to bite the bullet and moved to Permanent TSB. He gets free banking from his new bank as long as he has at least €1,500 going into the account every month.
A salesman with McMahon and Nagle Windows and Doors in Swords, Co Dublin, he found the switching process painless.
"I opened the account when I started my apprenticeship as a carpenter. I am 32 now, so I had been half my life with the same bank," he said.
Before he moved from AIB, Mr Houlihan required previous bank statements for his accountants, with details going back two years. He was quoted a fee of €187 for 60 sheets containing the information.
"I was annoyed by that. So I decided to switch. My feeling is, why pay for something you don't have to pay for," he says.
His girlfriend, Jennifer Higgins, is now switching to Permanent TSB also.