ULSTER Bank has started writing to its customers with checking and deposit accounts, warning them to move or close their accounts.
the bank has around 900,000 giro and custody account customers here.
The letters will be sent out in stages and on an ongoing basis to ensure the process is orderly, the bank said.
Ulster Bank said customers don’t need to take any action until they receive a letter or email from it.
And it gives customers six months to find a new account or close their account.
This is in contrast to KBC Bank, which announced yesterday that it will start writing to its 300,000 or so current account customers from June but will only give them 90 days to switch and switch.
The Financial Services Union branded the shorter deadline for KBC customers as “irresponsible”.
It said giving customers 90 days to close their accounts while saying it was almost impossible to answer a call from one of the big retail banks showed complete disregard for their customers.
FSU General Secretary John O’Connell questioned why the central bank was not stepping in to ensure realistic deadlines were set and met by both banks.
The two banks plan to close this year.
Ulster hopes to sell €7.6 billion in non-tracker mortgages and other loans to Permanent TSB along with 25 branches. However, this requires the approval of the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission.
AIB plans to purchase €4.2bn of delinquent corporate and commercial loans from Ulster, subject to Competition Authority approval
However, Ulster Bank’s current and deposit accounts are not part of Ulster Bank’s offering, requiring customers to switch to a new provider.
Ulster Bank said it had begun writing to almost a million current and deposit account holders “in a phased and rolling manner, with six months’ notice” to choose a new bank and switch accounts.
It said the first tranche of letters and emails had been sent. Customers are not required to take any action until they receive notification from the bank, it said.
Ulster Bank said: “As announced on 28 March 2022, we have now officially started writing to current and deposit account customers in a phased and ongoing manner to give them six months’ notice that they are choosing a new provider and are moving theirs and are supposed to close Ulster bank accounts.
“These letters/emails will be issued in tranches to facilitate orderly switching and new account openings across the industry, avoiding a single closure date for customers and the industry.
“Customers are under no obligation to take any action until they receive their letter or email from us; Our stores will remain open during this choose-move-close process to ensure all customers have in-store support if needed.”
Ulster Bank also announced reduced branch services as part of the closure plans last month.
People who have current accounts with KBC Bank have been told that the accounts will be closed from June 1st.
The bank said its customers will soon receive notification that they must start closing their current accounts before the lender pulls out of the Irish market.
A statement from the bank said that once customers receive the notification, they have 90 days to close their accounts.
When asked about customers with overdrafts, KBC said those customers are given 120 days’ notice to take account of the fact that they may have to go through an application process with another provider.
If a customer is unable to repay their overdraft facility, KBC will work with the customer to find an individual solution that suits their circumstances.
It has around 7,000 customers with overdraft facilities for their checking accounts.
https://www.independent.ie/business/personal-finance/banking/ulster-bank-starts-writing-to-customers-about-closure-plans-41550534.html Ulster Bank is starting to tell customers about closure plans