KBC and Ulster Bank closures: 10,000 customers switch accounts every week

Nearly 10,000 current accounts a week are now being opened as Ulster Bank and KBC customers scramble to find an alternative bank before their existing providers here close.

However, there are fears that a huge backlog is building up.

Since the beginning of the year, customers have opened 220,000 new personal accounts with the three largest banks – AIB, Bank of Ireland and Permanent TSB.

Even these unprecedented figures are a far cry from the half a million or so current accounts that Ulster Bank and KBC will automatically close next year unless customers act first.

New figures from the Banking and Payments Federation of Ireland (BPFI) show that in the four weeks to June 10 more than 55,000 personal accounts were also opened by the Bank of Ireland, AIB and Permanent TSB. Figures do not include additional accounts opened with alternative providers such as An Post, Revolut or credit unions.

Ulster Bank has around 360,000 current accounts and 300,000 deposit account customers in Ireland, with customers now having six months to switch or close an account after being contacted by the bank.

Ulster Bank began contacting customers in April about the need to close their accounts and plans to have the last accounts closed by next March.

KBC, which had around 130,000 current account customers when it announced its plan to exit the Irish market, last month began telling customers they have six months to find an alternative.

As with Ulster Bank, customers will be contacted in waves so it will be summer 2023 when the latest round of six-month notice periods ends.

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.

The BPFI has now launched a dedicated website to assist clients with this process. provides a checklist for customers looking to open a new account or switch to a new bank. It also offers advice on managing other services such as direct debits, bank overdrafts and card payments.

The Indo Daily : Don’t count on it: everything you need to know about switching Ulster and KBC banks

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The BPFI has partnered with Bank of Ireland, AIB and Permanent TSB, as well as credit unions and Bunq to launch the campaign.

Bunq, a Dutch fintech, launched in Ireland in May.

“While we are very aware that there is still a lot of work to be done in the coming weeks and months, these figures very clearly show the intensive efforts of the banks to onboard new customers as quickly and efficiently as possible,” says BPFI- Managing Director said Brian Hayes.

He added that moving accounts for thousands of customers is “a significant task” that will last “well into the second half of this year.”

Retail banks are also launching their own switching campaigns and have hired additional staff to handle the workload.

In May, AIB saw the highest number of checking and deposit account openings in a single week, with 11,000 people signing up for an account in the week ended May 29.

The Bank of Ireland said applications were double normal early last month.

Permanent TSB staff are now based in 45 Ulster Bank branches across Ireland to support customers rushing to make the switch direct. PTSB will also be running a number of pop-up stores across Ireland to support the move and has created a dedicated webpage to make customers aware of mobile store routes. KBC and Ulster Bank closures: 10,000 customers switch accounts every week

Fry Electronics Team

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