AIB offers SMEs breathing space on fees

Mainstream personal current account holders not to benefit from fees deferral

AIB is understood to count half of the country’s 250,000 SMEs as customers.

AIB is understood to count half of the country’s 250,000 SMEs as customers.

 

AIB has responded to criticism for applying quarterly fees at the height of the Covid-19 crisis by offering small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) a temporary refund of the amount charged and deferral of the payment until later in the year.

However, the lender is not offering the same reprieve to mainstream personal current account customers who had an average quarterly fee of under €20 applied this week, though there were reports on social media of some with higher levels of transactions being charged €100.

AIB is understood to count half of the country’s 250,000 SMEs as customers.

“In order to assist SME customers whose businesses are impacted by the Covid-19 crisis, AIB will shortly be making an option available to allow them to defer the maintenance and transaction fees applied to their accounts on March 31st, 2020,” a spokesman for the bank said.

The fees related to account maintenance and transactions that took place between November and February.

“These fees can be applied in [the third quarter of] 2020 and spread equally over September, October and November. As this is a new process for customers we are making relevant changes to our systems and the application process will be made available on our website in the coming days.”

Free banking

Responding to social media and political criticism on the application of personal current account fees this week, the spokesman said that the bank provided free banking for student, graduate, advantage and basic bank accounts as well as mortgage customers who make payments by direct debit from a current account with the bank.

The bank has also delayed introducing fees for customers with a balance of €2,500 in their account.

“AIB offers our current account customers safe and secure online payments with a mobile app and a range of ‘tap’ payment solutions to use debit cards, phone or watch for daily transactions, both in Ireland and worldwide. We also offer customers choice in ways to bank with us; over the phone, online, through our app, at ATMs, in over 200 local branches and through every An Post office,” he said.