Wednesday 16 October 2019

Number of people switching banks at all-time low despite higher charges

The Central Bank in Dublin. Photo: Jason Alden/Bloomberg
The Central Bank in Dublin. Photo: Jason Alden/Bloomberg
Charlie Weston

Charlie Weston

The number of consumers moving their current account to another bank has fallen to its lowest level since records began.

This is despite a number of banks increasing the cost of operating a day-to-day transactions account.

Just over 1,500 people switched bank accounts in the second half of last year, according to the Central Bank.

It was the lowest level of switching in the five years since the regulator first started recording switcher activity. Switching accounts can mean savings of up to €150 a year.

It comes as both Ulster Bank and Permanent TSB made it much harder this year to avoid paying fees for day-to-day banking.

The Central Bank said the low number of consumers moving bank accounts was despite a rise in the overall number of accounts and more money being held in them.

Many banks require consumers to keep a balance of up to €3,000 in their current account at all times to avoid being levied with fees.

Central Bank data shows that there are now 5.3 million current accounts held by personal customers.

And the amount of money held in these has doubled from €16.2bn in the second half of 2013 to €31bn.

Irish Independent

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