Summertime cheer as Ulster Bank cuts charges on forex business
Basking in Cornwall: tourists can relax in the knowledge there will be no transaction charges. photograph: matt cardy/getty
No, the sun hasn’t gone to its head, but Ulster Bank has bucked the trend in its sector with some good news.
At a time when most banks are increasing customer charges, Ulster Bank is the first major Irish bank to offer a foreign exchange service to all customers free of transaction charges.
The bank announced yesterday that it is removing the charges immediately.
Previously the bank charged personal customers between €12.70 to €44.44, depending on the amount involved.
Business customers using the Bankline service were paying a minimum of €9.52 and up to a maximum of €33.33 on a percentage basis for the service.
“This enhanced service will allow customers to send funds abroad free of charge. Parents with children studying abroad, for example, will now be able to make payments with no additional charges,” said Paul McEnroe, head of FX and interest rates at Ulster Bank.
“Likewise, Irish businesses will now be able to pay foreign suppliers free of charge.”
Transaction charge-free forex services will be available through all electronic channels.
That includes Ulster Bank customers in branches where they can make electronic payments as well as through the online banking Anytime and, for business, Bankline, channels.
However, it will not apply to bureau de change services, or other paper transactions, such as international drafts, both of which account for an increasingly smaller portion of the bank’s foreign exchange business.
“We are constantly looking to enhance the way in which we can help our customers,” said Mr McEnroe, “and we are the only established bank to offer this service free of charge to all our customers, across all delivery channels.”