Thousands of Ulster and KBC bank accounts remain open despite pressure to close them

THOUSANDS of bank accounts remain open with Ulster Bank and KBC Bank Ireland.

This is despite intensive efforts by banks and regulators to get people to stop doing business with the two banks and switch to other providers.

About 675,000 accounts were open at the two banks late last month, the central bank said.

Many people have set up new current and deposit accounts but have yet to close their existing accounts at KBC and Ulster over concerns that something could go wrong when switching to a new account provider.

Earlier this year there were more than a million accounts between the two banks that will have to be closed as the banks look to exit this market next year.

Last month Ulster Bank began freezing some accounts and closing them 30 days later. It started with accounts it believed customers didn’t rely on.

Central bank figures show that nearly 94,000 current and deposit accounts at Ulster Bank and KBC banks were closed in November.

That equates to 18,728 accounts per week.

This brings the total number of accounts closed in the 11 months to the end of November to 558,636. Of these, 288,994 were checking accounts and 269,642 were deposit accounts.

But at the end of last month, 674,780 accounts were still open at Ulster Bank and KBC Bank.

This is a 12 percent drop from the end of October and a 45 percent drop since the beginning of the year.

Of the 392,812 current accounts still open, 280,744 were classified by the banks as active accounts.

And 191,890 was considered by the banks as the customer’s main account.

Central bank statisticians said the number of checking accounts defined as primary has fallen by half since early July.

The regulator said 82,145 new accounts were opened in November, largely unchanged from the previous month.

A total of 882,470 checking and deposit accounts were opened at the three remaining retail banks in the eleven months to the end of November.

The central bank said account openings include both openings related to customers migrating accounts from the exiting banks and unrelated account openings.

And KBC Bank has contacted its customers to tell them it will be closing its hubs from March 10.

Hubs in Galway, Limerick, Lapps Quay in Cork, Wilton Shopping Center in Cork, Waterford, Maynooth, Main Street Swords, Blanchardstown Shopping Centre, College Green Dublin, Baggot Street Dublin and Stillorgan will all be closed on the day.

However, the KBC hub at the Grand Canal Dublin Hub will remain open until next 31 August.

The bank said it will continue to support their requests through our contact center or email when the hubs close.

Meanwhile, Bank of Ireland said it plans to invest 11.5 million euros in its nationwide branch network over the next year.

The bank said its investment plans include renovations and expansions of its branch network, modernization of branch services including ATMs at a number of locations, and ongoing maintenance.

The €11.5 million investment includes extensive renovations for 18 stores.

It is also planned to install new external and internal ATMs in a number of branches and upgrade staff facilities in more than 12 branches.

The Bank of Ireland has 169 branches nationwide. Thousands of Ulster and KBC bank accounts remain open despite pressure to close them

Fry Electronics Team

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