Personal Current Account Charges

  • Account management key to minimising costs
  • Bank charges here competitive

The Irish Banking Federation (IBF) notes from the research published today by the Central Bank that bank current account charges here are competitive and that good account management on the part of customers is key to minimising costs.

The Central Bank’s Research on Current Account Charges confirms that the charges applied by banks here are predominantly driven by account usage – the user pays principle; also that higher charges which arise where an account is ‘out-of-order’ are principal contributors to increased costs for customers. This illustrates the importance for account users of efficiently managing their accounts in order to keep costs to a minimum.  IBF-member banks variously provide a range of information material as guidance to customers in this regard.  Also details on all charges can be found on www.itsyourmoney.ie.

Where charges are applied, they are shown by the research to provide a competitive range across the five main banks in Ireland and also to be competitive compared to UK bank charges across a number of the customer profiles used and especially so in the case of out-of-order charges.

Furthermore, customer account switching is readily facilitated here under the statutory Account Switching Code – which was first developed by the IBF and member banks as a voluntary industry initiative.

Finally, IBF notes that the pattern of account charging that has evolved here, compared to the UK for example, relates to the system of price control operated by the Central Bank in accordance with Section 149 (13) of the Consumer Credit Act 1995.

Note: The Irish Banking Federation (IBF) is the leading representative body for the banking and financial services sector in Ireland, representing some 80 member institutions and associates, including licensed domestic and foreign banks and institutions operating in the financial marketplace here.

Information: Press Office, Irish Banking Federation, tel. 6715311

ISME should submit its methodology to independent scrutiny

  • Reliable research in the interests of the SME sector and all other stakeholders

The Irish Banking Federation (IBF) calls on ISME to submit for independent scrutiny the methodology used in its latest ‘survey’ of SME credit demand.  IBF has serious concerns about the representativeness and reliability of the results generated by ISME – as do a number of other stakeholders.

The independent SME Lending Demand Study, recently published by the Department of Finance and undertaken for the Department by Mazars, provides the most reliable and comprehensive picture on the nature and extent of small business credit.  This study was undertaken in consultation with all the key business stakeholders, including ISME.

The Department-commissioned study shows a 70% credit approval rate.  It also shows that credit is being sought by just one-third of SMEs, largely for renewal or restructuring of existing facilities.  Notably, of those who did not apply for credit just 7% advised that it was because they believe that banks are not lending.  At the same time it points to areas where lenders’ own processes can better accommodate the needs of the business borrower and where further business supportive initiatives can be developed.

“If all stakeholders are to work constructively in support of small businesses it is important that we have reliable and accurate data with which to work”, states IBF Chief Executive, Pat Farrell.  “Anything less than that does a disservice to all concerned and particularly to the small business sector itself.  It is for this reason that the Department of Finance recently commissioned and published an independent study of the nature and extent of SME credit demand – doing so in consultation with the various stakeholders, including ISME.  And it is important that all stakeholders take on board the results produced – the not so good as well as the good – and work constructively together to support the SME sector as an all-important driver of our economic recovery.  We are fully committed to that process.”

Note: The Irish Banking Federation (IBF) is the leading representative body for the banking and financial services sector in Ireland, representing some 80 member institutions and associates, including licensed domestic and foreign banks and institutions operating in the financial marketplace here.

Information: Felix O’Regan, Director Public Affairs, IBF, tel. 6715311, 087 6481644