Limerick Senator wants banks to be more switch supportive 

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Senator Maria Byrne

CALLS have been made for Ulster Bank and KBC to step up their support to existing customers who need to find a new bank because of their closures.

Limerick Fine Gael Senator Maria Byrne, who is the party’s Seanad Finance Spokesperson, said that all banks, those leaving and those remaining in the market, must do more to facilitate customers to switch their accounts.

“With Ulster Bank and KBC leaving the market, only two full service banks will remain in the State.

“Banks need to increase awareness among the general public of the need to switch, and more should be done to actually support customers making the switch. Older and vulnerable people may need additional supports throughout the process.”

She said that the announcement from KBC Bank that they are extending the notice period to close accounts from three to six months “is welcome, as it’s clear from concerns raised with the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC) that people need more time.

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“There was further positive news for business owners this week with the announcement that the CCPC has cleared the sale of SME and commercial loans from Ulster Bank to AIB. This helps to give much needed clarity to business owners who need to be able to rely on continued access to credit.”