Bank switchers warned that EBS could end current account option

CUSTOMERS of Ulster Bank and KBC have been warned to think carefully before deciding to open a new account with EBS.

This is because the former building society, owned by AIB Group, could end up closing its current accounts.

With the departure of the two banks, around 500,000 people will have to look for new checking accounts.

AIB said in January it was conducting a comprehensive “strategic review” of EBS’ operations.

This could lead to a reduction in the products and services offered by EBS, such as B. current accounts lead.

The EBS MoneyManager account offers basic services but costs next to nothing and will likely be a choice for some people, according to price comparison site’s Daragh Cassidy.

There is no overdraft, no ApplePay or GooglePay, and no checkbook offered as part of the account.

Mr Cassidy said the account was cheap to run, but he warned consumers looking for a new everyday bank account that EBS could close its checking accounts to focus on being a mortgage specialist.

“Customers of Ulster Bank or KBC who take all the hassle of switching to EBS may find themselves in the nightmare scenario of having to switch again in a few months,” said Mr Cassidy.

If just 1% of Ulster and KBC customers switched to EBS in the coming weeks, that would be 5,000 people.

Mr. Cassidy urged AIB, the owner of EBS, to clarify its intentions as soon as possible.

“Or at least to have the decency to say whether people are really thinking about no longer holding checking accounts. And when it can’t, it should explicitly warn any customer trying to open a current account about their strategic review.”

A spokesman for AIB Group said it continues to invest in EBS’s digital capabilities, distribution network and customer offering to support a growing number of customers looking to buy their own home.

“Consistent with this support for our customers, EBS is also undergoing a number of strategic changes that build on the current offering. In case of developments in our services, we will notify our customers,” the bank said.

EBS, once the country’s largest building society, has been a wholly owned subsidiary of AIB since 2011 and currently operates 68 branches and offices across the country.

EBS was acquired by AIB on behalf of the government in 2011 at the height of the financial crisis.

In addition to mortgages, it offers savings accounts, personal loans, insurance and retirement services.

EBS has focused on offering mortgages for the past two years, leading to speculation that it will stop offering its checking and savings accounts

It is expected that EBS savers will be offered an easy way to move their deposits to AIB should AIB decide to exit savings products.

The search for new accounts by Ulster Bank and KBC Bank Ireland customers represents the largest bank switch in the state’s history.

Meanwhile, a leading customer experience expert has urged bank customers looking to set up new checking accounts to explore what different institutions have to offer from a customer experience (CX) perspective.

Cathy Summers, chief executive of the CX company, said that since many institutions offer broadly similar products and services, clients looking for a differentiator should look at the overall customer experience they offer.

The most recent survey found that credit unions remain number one in a massive customer experience survey.

It is the only brand to remain in the top 10 over this seven-year period.

An Post Money was one of the biggest jumpers of 2021 – up 40 places from 2020 when it debuted as a newcomer at No. 60. Bank switchers warned that EBS could end current account option

Fry Electronics Team

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