PTSB hikes monthly charges for customers
Bailed-out bank Permanent TSB (PTSB) is to drastically increase the cost of using its flagship current account.
The move will make it more difficult for customers to qualify for fee-free banking.
From August the fixed monthly fee for its Explore current account will rise 50pc, from €4 to €6.
The new annual cost will be €72 for operating the Explore account, up from €48.
It comes months after PTSB changed the rules for customers with older current accounts, which saw thousands of them paying fees.
At the time it had encouraged customers to switch to the Explore account, saying it offered better value.
Now the bank has begun writing to its customers tell them it is increasing the cost of the Explore account.
A spokesman for the bank said: "The new fee balances our aim of offering an attractive, rewards-based current account with our requirement to remain competitive in the market."
He stressed there will be no changes to the €5 monthly cashback available to customers for using their debit card. This works out at 10c per transaction.
There will also be no change to the offer of cashback of up to 5pc on certain utility bills paid by direct debit.
The Explore account is now the only current account the bank offers its new customers. The bank describes it as a "revolution" in every day banking.
PTSB came in for strong criticism when it decided that from March people on legacy accounts would have to pay the €18 quarterly fee unless they keep a balance of €2,500 in the account every day.
Up to then there had been various ways customers were able to avoid the quarterly fee, such as keeping €1,000 in the account, having their salary paid into it, or having other savings or a mortgage with PTSB.