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IBF Account Switching Code makes account switching easy

Almost 70,000 account switches to date 
The Irish Banking Federation (IBF) today reminded consumers that switching accounts from one financial institution to another is easy and straightforward under the IBF Account Switching Code. The reminder comes at a time when a number of banks have announced their withdrawal from the personal banking services market including current accounts.

The Account Switching Code has been very successful since its introduction in 2005. It has directly facilitated the switching of 68,378 personal accounts up to end-December 2009. The Code has also acted as an important catalyst for account switching outside of the structured Code process and indeed for customer mobility right across the range of financial services; and it has acted as a model for the EU-wide switching framework.

Under the Code which covers current, deposit and savings accounts held by personal customers the country’s leading retail financial institutions commit to having step-by-step procedures that make it easier for personal customers to switch accounts from one financial institution to another; also to explain each of the steps involved in the process, who is responsible for them and how long they should take. The ease with which consumers can switch accounts under the Code is evident from the following:

The consumer simply chooses the bank to which the account is to be switched and obtains from the website or branch the Transfer of Account Form and other relevant material
Once the consumer completes and signs the Transfer of Account Form, the old bank will send details of direct debits and standing orders to the new bank and relevant creditors so that they can be set up on the new account
The balance on the old account can be forwarded to the new account
The consumer can choose to keep the old account open and close it at a later date if preferred.

The IBF Account Switching Code can be viewed at: http://bit.ly/ddsEcP

Background Notes 
1. Irish Banking Federation (IBF) and the country’s leading retail financial institutions developed the Personal Switching Code, which came into operation 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.

2. 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.

3. The following retail banking institutions subscribe to the IBF Switching Codes:

ACCBank
AIB Bank
Anglo Irish Bank
Bank of Ireland
Halifax/Bank of Scotland (Ireland)
EBS Building Society*
First Active*
ICS Building Society
KBC Bank
Irish Nationwide Building Society*
National Irish Bank
Northern Rock
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Postbank
Ulster Bank
* These institutions subscribe only to the Personal Account Switching Code.

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

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

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