Switching bank accounts is easy, says Bank of Ireland

All banks are reporting a significant spike in the numbers of customers switching bank accounts in recent weeks, primarily due to the withdrawal of providers from the Irish market. For those with multiple accounts linked to their current account and numerous direct debits, credits and standing orders it can appear daunting. What most people don’t realise is that your new banking provider does most of the work for you and will have your new account up and running within ten days. You just need to remember to cancel your old account.

Some banks such as Bank of Ireland have set up dedicated switching units and Frank McDonagh, Eyre Sq. Galway, has some advice for those looking for a new provider.

“We have seen an unprecedented number of customers switching to us during the last couple of months and have made it really easy for new customers to move to us with some simple but very effective initiatives. There’s our dedicated phone line that can give you your new account number in minutes.

“We also open late every Thursday in 60 of our branches and in eight locations on Saturdays (Dublin Only ). We have also opened a dedicated switching hub in our Enterprise Lounge on Dublin’s Grafton Street, which will be open early mornings Tues, Weds and Friday, as well as late evenings Thursdays and 10am to 2pm on Saturdays.

“ Any new customer who may not have made provisions for the closure of their current banking facilities is encouraged to contact us immediately and get their new account number within minutes.”

Much of the focus in recent commentary has been on the cost of banking transactions and while charges apply to most accounts unless you keep a constant credit balance there are many ways to keep your costs down. Contactless transactions are currently free from some providers and becoming more popular in retail outlets. Banking online or via mobile app is definitely the way to go and most providers offer lower cost transactions for banking this way, and it also saves you time queuing in a branch.

Access is also a really important consideration. Most people today want multi-channel access and don’t want a provider that limits them just to an online proposition. Ultimately you want a bank that is easy to do business with and gives you local access to a branch where you can talk to specialists when you need them. Make sure your new bank also provides 24/7 access to your accounts online and ideally has a mobile and iPad proposition.

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