AIB opens record number of accounts as Ulster Bank and KBC prepare to exit

AIB has seen the most account openings in a single week as customers from both Ulster Bank and KBC Bank Ireland look for new accounts.

In the week ended May 29, around 11,000 customers signed up for an account with AIB, a number that includes both current and fixed deposit accounts. That number is up 122 percent from the same week last year, with the number of new accounts opened so far this year up 61 percent.

Last year customers opened 99,000 accounts, in the first half of 2022 160,000 accounts were opened.

AIB said it had seen a “steady upward trend” in account opening since both Ulster Bank and KBC announced their intention to permanently withdraw from the Irish market.

Ulster Bank plans to end customer transactions by the end of March 2023, while KBC expects to end all transactions by the end of August 2023.

Both Ulster Bank and KBC have now also written to customers advising that they now have six months to close their accounts. From July 15, KBC will also no longer accept applications for its products.

Currently, Ulster Bank has around 360,000 active current accounts, while KBC has 130,000 current account customers.

To meet demand, AIB hired 700 temporary workers and redeployed 300 existing employees.

“The changes in the banking market present a great opportunity for AIB to welcome hundreds of thousands of new customers and we are working to ensure they have the most seamless experience possible,” said Jim O’Keefe, Managing Director of Retail Banking.

He added that 70 percent of retail customers can now open an account directly online. AIB opens record number of accounts as Ulster Bank and KBC prepare to exit

Fry Electronics Team

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