PTSB increases charges on some accounts by over 460%

Bank which is 75 per cent State-owned says increases bring it in line with competition

Some PTSB customers who contacted The Irish Times said their charges were going from €3.18 a quarter to €18, a rise of 466 per cent. File photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Some PTSB customers who contacted The Irish Times said their charges were going from €3.18 a quarter to €18, a rise of 466 per cent. File photograph: Nick Bradshaw

 

The cost of everyday banking for thousands of Permanent TSB customers is to increase by more than 460 per cent as the bank imposes a new charging regime on what it describes as “legacy” accounts.

The bank, which is 75 per cent State-owned, has been writing to many of its customers since the beginning of the week to inform them that their quarterly charges are increasing.

Some customers who contacted The Irish Times said their charges were going from €3.18 a quarter to €18, a rise of 466 per cent.

Such an increase will see the annual cost for affected customers climbing from €12.72 to €72.

‘Legacy accounts’

The bank defended the massive increase and said it would only apply to “legacy accounts” and would not impact on people who had opened an account with the bank in the last year.

The bank claimed the increases would bring the bank in line with other institutions.

In a statement, PTSB said that over a year ago it launched its Explore current account “which pays and rewards customers who use it”.

It said thousands of customers had signed up to the new account - the only current account which can now be opened with Permanent TSB.

Cash back

While the Explore account pays customers 10 cents for each of the first 50 times they use their debit card each month and has other elements through which people can earn cash back when paying certain household bills, it also attracts a flat €4 per month fee.

After the Explore account was launched, PTSB said it reviewed fees “across legacy current account products”, which has led to the latest charge increases.

It said customers who signed up to what was previously known as “fee-free banking” current accounts would not be affected, but older “legacy” current account holders would see the dramatic rise in charges.

A spokesman claimed the new charges would bring the bank into line with other financial institutions.