SAVVY consumers have found ways to beat the banks. They are withdrawing cash in larger amounts to get around charges being imposed on them to operate day-to-day bank accounts.
Ulster Bank is set to become the latest bank to impose charges on its customers for operating current accounts. Bank of Ireland and AIB already force customers to lodge large amounts of money into their accounts to avoid paying fees.
Permanent TSB has bucked the trend by scrapping charges if customers lodge at least €1,500 into their account every month.
From July, Ulster Bank will charge €5 a month to those who do not keep €3,000 in credit in their accounts. Charges are also applied at Danske Bank, while EBS forces customers to meet certain conditions to avoid charges.
But now it has emerged that consumers are taking out more cash each time they make withdrawals. This means they incur fewer charges.
And some consumers are using their credit cards more often to get around charges. They realise there is no fee for buying on a credit card as long as the balance is cleared inside a month, according to previously unpublished research carried out by the National Consumer Agency.
The research, seen by the Irish Independent, also shows people are less inclined to use debit and Laser cards as they fear racking up charges. And one in five intends to switch to another bank that offers lower fees.