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Wednesday 21 August 2019

Permanent TSB to drastically increase cost of using flagship current account

Permanent TSB on St. Stephens Green yesterday.
Pic Steve Humphreys
15th July 2011.
Permanent TSB on St. Stephens Green yesterday. Pic Steve Humphreys 15th July 2011.
Charlie Weston

Charlie Weston

Bailed-out bank Permanent TSB 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 by 50pc, from €4 to €6.

This means that over a year the new cost will be €72 for operating the Explore account, up from €48.

It comes months after Permanent TSB changed the rules for those with its older current accounts, in a move that saw thousands of them ending up paying fees.

At the time it had encouraged customers to switch to the Explore account, saying it offered better value to those with legacy current accounts.

Now the bank has begun writing to its customers tell them it is increasing the cost of operating the Explore account.

A spokesman for the bank: “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 that There are 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 cash back 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 everyday banking.

The bank came in for strong criticism when decided that from March people on legacy accounts now have to pay the €18 quarterly fee unless they keep a balance of €2,500 in the account every day.

Up to then there have been various ways that 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 Permanent TSB.

The bank said there is now a fee of €25 for setting up an overdraft facility or renewing one. Permanent also cut the interest rate it pays on credit balances in the accounts.

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