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44% of Ulster Bank and KBC customers switched accounts

DUBLIN: Research shows that 44% of Ulster Bank and KBC customers have opened new accounts as both banks will cease transactions in the Irish market next year. This comes as the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC) said consumers must take action and switch banks to avoid being left without banking services.

Research for the CCPC, conducted by Ipsos MRBI between June 13 and June 22, found that only less than half of consumers who need to open a new account have done so. 81% of consumers want to take action, but only 44% have yet opened new accounts. About 20% of consumers said they had not yet done anything about switching current accounts. At the same time, 29% of respondents said they would consider an online-only banking provider.

Customers of Ulster Bank and KBC who have started or completed the switching process identified transferring direct debits as the biggest challenge. They were also frustrated by the lack of alternatives, difficulties in accessing personal support and the need for numerous forms and documents.

Meanwhile, the CCPC has developed a step-by-step guide to completing the transfer of direct debits and has published information on switching current accounts on its website.

Ulster Bank is expected to cease operations in the Irish market in March 2023, while KBC will cease in August next year.

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