Have you sorted out that new current account?

March 28, 2023

KBC Ireland and Ulster Bank are soon leaving the Irish market. Central Bank of Ireland statistics showed there were 227,694 current accounts still open with KBC and Ulster Bank in March. Time is nearly up for these customers to close their accounts and find new providers.

Your options:

If you are one of these customers, you’ll need to act soon to make sure you continue to have access to a current account. There are two ways you can switch account:

  • Open a new account yourself. You will have to set up your payments going in (salary, social welfare payments, etc.) and payments coming out (direct debits, standing orders, subscriptions).
  • Use the Central Bank of Ireland’s switching code. This is a code which some providers follow to help you switch accounts where they will move many of your regular payments for you. Whichever you decide, we have a full guide on our Money Hub to help you.

Choosing a new account

It can be difficult to choose a new account.

Our top tips for choosing a new provider are:

  1. Compare the fees and benefits of various options using our current account Money Tool.
  2. Visit the provider’s website to find out more about the kind of accounts available. You may want to know the locations of their branches, ways of contacting them, etc.
  3. Review your banking habits and find an account that best meets your banking needs. Some providers may not offer a smartphone app or digital wallets like Apple/Google Pay. Similarly, some providers may have high ATM fees which wouldn’t suit you if you regularly withdraw cash. Get more information on what to look out for when choosing your current account.
  4. Not all providers offer overdrafts. If you need one make sure your new provider offers this. You should also check if you can apply immediately for an overdraft or if you need to wait after setting up your new account.


Failing to switch in time

If you are an Ulster Bank or KBC customer you will have been given a deadline for your account closure. If you don’t close your account and switch before the deadline then your account will be frozen. It will remain frozen for 30 days before the bank closes the account. The bank will then issue you a cheque for the remaining balance in your account.

If your account is frozen, payments will not go through and this may result in missed mortgage or loan payments. This could affect your credit history and so your ability to apply for a loan in the future.

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