The past few months have seen both KBC and Ulster Bank announce their exit strategy from the Irish marketplace.
In preparation for this, both banks are encouraging their customers to research their alternatives, utilise supports, and get ready to switch banks. The have said they will work with customers to aid them in moving and closing their accounts in order to transfer and open new ones.
If you are one of the customers affected by KBC and Ulster Bank exiting the Irish Market, you may well have started the process of setting up a new bank account.
If not, you may be about to start looking at your options.
You have a choice from the following providers and a number of factors may influence your decision – you main prefer to stay with one of the main banks, charges, convenience and online access are all factors to be considered.
- Bank of Ireland
- Permanent TSB
- An Post Money Account
- Your local Credit Union Account
- EBS Money Manager Account
Once you have decided on your new provider you will need to make contact with them and you will be given a ‘switching pack’. You will need a current passport for proof of ID so make sure it is in date!
There is a ‘switching code’ in place which should help make the process easier. It means that KBC and Ulster Bank are required to help you switch to your new bank within ten days. This code should help customers transfer their direct debits and standing orders to their new bank account. It’s not perfect though.
You may have to do some of the work yourself! Do up a list of all the Direct Debits and Standing Orders leaving your account – usually these are on a monthly basis but there may be one that happens annually (e.g. TV licence, dog licence etc). Start contacting each provider to let them know you have a new bank account.
Our Top Tip = don’t leave until last minute as switching over direct debits and standing orders takes time!
You then need to notify anyone who pays you an income (e.g. your employer, social welfare or pension provider).
You can handle the Standing Orders yourself from your own account when it is up and running.
Sometimes payments can get overlooked so make sure to double check the payments from your bank account the following month. Our advice is to start the process as early as possible and this will help make the transition over to your new bank account as smooth as possible.
What happens to my mortgage or loan?
If you have a mortgage with the KBC or Ulster Bank it has been agreed that they will be passed to another provider and this has been approved by the CCPC.
Ulster Bank mortgages will be passed to the Permanent TSB. Ulster Bank will be contact you in 2023 to confirm where your personal loans are to be passed to.
KBC mortgages and loans will be passed to the Bank of Ireland.
Your current interest rate and terms and conditions will remain the same.
If you have an overdraft with either of these banks, you will need to pay this off before you close your account. If you have a Credit Card, you will need to transfer your balance to a new provider also.
As the European Central Bank is getting set to raise interest rates this summer, it may be a good time to review your current mortgages and consider fixing your tracker or variable mortgage interest rate. It is worthwhile going to a Mortgage Broker who will help you review your current mortgage.
What should I do with my long term savings?
If you have savings with Ulster Bank you will need to find a new home for your savings or close your account. No deal was agreed to buy their deposit book.
KBC’s deal with the Bank of Ireland does include savings accounts and so your funds will be transferred to the Bank of Ireland. You can of course choose to place your savings elsewhere.
Why not use this as an opportunity to review your savings and consider moving your medium to long-term savings plans away from deposit accounts. With current interest rates at an all-time low and inflation on the rise, your money is losing value and purchasing power. Those of you under the age of 40 may not recall the impact of inflation, it can be damaging. What €100 can buy now as opposed to what a €100 could buy in 2000 is drastically different!
Don’t let the banks make the decision for you about your savings. Explore options in relation to your short-term, medium-term and long-term savings. Place short-term on deposit for immediate access, for medium to long-term savings it is reasonable to look for moderate growth by investing in a mix of unit-linked funds. A mix of funds across all risk categories are and can be tailored to your own unique risk profile.
Seeking advice concerning KBC or Ulster Bank’s Irish Exit
If you are looking for advice on your personal circumstances regarding KBC and Ulster Bank’s exit, our team at Sunrise Financial Planning is here to help you make good decisions about your money and your financial future.
Contact us on 061 412388 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more.
Sunrise Financial Planning is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland