Bank of Ireland to increase in-branch banking charges

Cost of over-the-counter transactions to rise as business customers reliant on cheques to bear the brunt of new price hike

The cost of a book of 50 cheques will rise to ¤15 from February 23rd 2015 for Bank of Ireland’s business customers.

The cost of a book of 50 cheques will rise to ¤15 from February 23rd 2015 for Bank of Ireland’s business customers.

 

Bank of Ireland business and personal customers will be hit with another round of fee increases from February 2015, as the bank continues to encourage customers away from in-branch banking and onto their computers.

The bank, which is 14 per cent owned by the government, has announced a “simpler, clearer pricing structure”, which will apply from February 23rd 2015. The emphasis is on trying to get customers to embrace automated and online banking, with the cost of these services set to fall, while traditional over the counter services will become more expensive.

Commenting on the move Ciaran Callaghan, senior credit analyst with Merrion Capital, said that the pricing changes reflect banks’ efforts to influence customer behaviour, by increasing the amount of transactions processed online (as opposed to utilising the more resource intensive legacy branch networks).

For example, “staff assisted transactions”, such as lodging cheques or making withdrawals over the counter, will cost personal customers 50 per cent more from February, at €0.60 a transaction, while credit transfers will also increase by the same amount.

The bank will also start charging for so-called contactless card transactions, whereby you swipe your debit card in a retail outlet to pay for goods, at a rate of €0.01 per transaction, for both business and personal customers.

Using an ATM or lodging a cheque to an ATM will also incur a higher transaction fee, up from €0.24 to €0.25 for business customers, and from €0.20 to €0.25 for personal customers.

However, the cost of electronic automated transactions, such as direct debits, standing orders, 365 online and mobile and tablet app transactions, will decline for both business and personal customers. The transaction fee will fall from €0.24 to €0.10, for business customers, and from €0.20 to €0.10 to personal customers.

The bank will continue to waive fees for the following account types: second level, third level, graduate, golden years and business start-up accounts. In addition, customers who maintain a minimum balance of €3,000 in their account for the full fee quarter will have their transaction fees waived, but will still be liable to the €5 quarterly fee.

The bulk of the fee increases will hit business customers, with the quarterly maintenance fee soaring from €5.25 a quarter to €15; cheque lodgements jumping from €0.20 to €0.60; and a book of 50 cheques costing €15, up from €4.06 a book.

However as with personal customers, businesses will also benefit from moving their banking services online, with quarterly online service fees declining from €15 to €10 a month, or from €70 to €55 for a Level 3 service.