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1,500 personal bank accounts switched each month

  1. level of switching reflects a competitive market
  2. consumers believe switching current accounts is easy
  3. An average of 1,500 personal bank accounts are being switched each month according to figures compiled by the Irish Banking Federation (IBF).
  4. The figures further show that a total of 37,200 personal accounts have been switched under the IBF Personal Account Switching Code since it came into operation in February 2005.

IBF believes that these figures bode well for future levels of account
switching activity, particularly when taken in conjunction with consumer
research recently undertaken by TNS mrbi (using a sample of 1,000 adults)
which shows the following.
Seven out of 10 consumers believe that it is very easy/easy to switch a current account from one financial institution to another.
The top three reasons given for switching are: a better deal on interest rate and/or fees; better services available; a more convenient location.
The top reason by far for not switching service providers is “satisfaction with service from existing institution”.
“This level of switching activity among consumers reflects both the intensity of competition in the marketplace, which is driven by the ever-increasing choice available from institutions, and the perceived ease of switching which introduction of the IBF Account Switching Code has helped to generate”, states Pat Farrell, IBF Chief Executive. “It is clear that, not alone is the Switching Code delivering success in its own right, it is also acting as a catalyst for customer mobility right across the board and financial institutions are responding to this with new service and product offerings.”

Contact: Felix O’Regan, Head of PR and Public Affairs, tel. 6715311, 087 6481644

Background Notes
Irish Banking Federation (IBF) and the country’s leading retail financial institutions developed the Personal Switching Code, which came into practice in February 2005, and the Business Switching Code which came into operation in July 2006. These Codes are designed to make switching personal and business bank accounts as quick and convenient as possible.
The procedures on account switching cover current, deposit and savings accounts held by personal and business customers that are not subject to advance notice of withdrawal or encumbered by debt, guarantees or other obligations.
The IBF member institutions supporting the Codes, have made three key commitments to customers as follows:

to provide to customers a ‘switching pack’ that clearly and simply explains the process of switching accounts, who is responsible for what, how long it will take and exactly what the customer has to do;
to have the customer’s new account up and running within 10 working days from the bank’s approval of the customer’s application; and
to complete the process of switching everything over from the old to the new account – incl. standing orders and direct debits – within 7 working days of a signed (by customer) Transfer Account Form being sent by the new bank to the customer’s previous bank.
IBF worked closely with the Financial Regulator and other relevant parties in finalising the Codes and a Financial Regulator representative attended, as an observer, at the meetings of the IBF Working Group that agreed its content.
The following retail banking institutions subscribe to the Code:
AIB Bank
Anglo Irish Bank
Bank of Ireland
Bank of Scotland (Ireland)
CS Building Society
EBS Building Society *
First Active *
IIB Bank
Irish Nationwide Building Society *
National Irish Bank
Northern Rock
Ulster Bank
* These institutions subscribe only to the Personal Account Switching Code

6. All financial institutions, including non-IBF members, are welcome to subscribe these Codes.

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