Just 0.06% of Irish consumers switch bank accounts

Despite hefty bank charges, Irish consumers are reluctant to switch, Central Bank finds

Current accounts are the main type of account held by consumers, and were the most complained about banking product, the Central Bank found.

Current accounts are the main type of account held by consumers, and were the most complained about banking product, the Central Bank found.

 

Just 3,600, or 0.06 per cent, of the country’s 5.2 million banking customers, switched their current account in the first half of the year, figures from the Central Bank show.

“Overall levels of switching remain low relative to the number of current accounts in the market and the number of switches has been decreasing for each reporting period since H1-2014,” the Central Bank said in a new report on current accounts and switching.

Since 2013, the number of current accounts have fallen, down by 4.7 per cent to 5.2 million as of mid-2016. The departure of players such as Halifax and Danske Bank from the retail market, as well as the introduction of hefty current account charges, are likely to be behind the decline, as people who may have previously held two current accounts, consolidated their banking to one. The value of current accounts has risen however, by almost €6 billion or 36 per cent, to €22.1 billion as of mid-2016, with €2.3 billion of this increase taking place in the past year.

Irish banking customers are now less likely to be overdrawn, with a 22 per cent fall in the number of current accounts in an unauthorised overdrawn position since the first half of 2015. However, the Central Bank noted that there has been a slight increase in the first half of 2016, when compared with the same period in 2015.

Current accounts are the main type of account held by consumers, and were the most complained-about banking product, the Central Bank found.

“Current accounts continue to represent the largest number of consumer complaints about banking products (while still being less than 1 per cent of the overall current account numbers),” the Central Bank said.

Account administration and processing represented 52 per cent of all consumer current account complaints.