Golden years lose lustre as BoI raises age for free banking
Bank accused of ‘kicking loyal customers in teeth’ over imposing charges on customers up to age 66
A Bank of Ireland spokeswoman said the bank’s motivation in changing the eligibility for Golden Years accounts was to synchronise its account structures with the State pension qualifying age coming into effect next year. Photograph: Matt Kavanagh
Bank of Ireland has been accused of “kicking loyal customers in the teeth” over its decision to impose charges on all its customers until they reach the age of 66.
At present, customers aged 60 can apply for a Golden Years account, which has no fees. The bank has said that from next February people will qualify for free banking only when they reach 66.
A spokeswoman said the bank’s motivation was to synchronise its account structures with the State pension qualifying age coming into effect next year.
Consumers’ Association of Ireland chief executive Dermott Jewell accused the bank of engaging in a “cynical” attempt to extract more money from more of its customers.
“The bank will have a great many loyal customers who are coming close to 60 who will now be hit with charges unless they manage to keep at least €3,000 in their current accounts at all times,” said Mr Jewell.
“It is a huge kick in the teeth for them.”
He said the move was another step in a process that had seen “services offered to customers dwindle while charges have climbed”.
“Now people are expected to do virtually everything themselves when it comes to banking,” he added.
“This is about making money from customers regardless of what they have done for the bank over many decades and I would hope it would act as a wake-up call for people and show that nothing is off-limits.”