A new survey by the Competition and Consumer Commission has found that less than half of former KBC and Ulster Bank customers have opened a new bank account.

Last year, other banks announced they were leaving the Irish market.

Belgian-owned KBC has given its customers six months from June 1 this year to make the switch, while Ulster Bank has announced it will start notifying customers of its own six-month deadline from April and will make the transition in stages. .

And while the CCPC survey found that 81% of former current account customers at both banks plan to switch to a new provider, only 44% have actually done so.

An IPSOS-MRBI survey of former current account customers of both banks across the country, conducted between June 13 and 22, found that switching accounts and transferring direct debits and regular payments pose the biggest challenge for those who have started or completed the process.

13% of respondents cited switching direct debit as the most difficult task, followed by “lack of suitable alternatives” cited by 8% of respondents.

Seven percent of former customers said they had trouble accessing personal support, required too many forms and documentation, and found it difficult to switch between multiple financial products. The same percentage of former account holders said the biggest obstacle was “the amount of time and hassle required to switch”, with 15% of Ulster Bank customers citing this as their biggest challenge.

Despite the hurdles, 65% of respondents intending to switch accounts said they expected to complete the process within two months.

The survey also found that more than half or 47% of Ulster Bank customers have already opened a new current account compared to just over a quarter or 27% of KBC customers.

Another 20 percent of former customers said they had chosen a new provider but had not yet switched, while 15 percent said they were currently comparing providers but had not yet decided on an alternative. Another 20% of former customers said they had not yet started the process.

More than a quarter, or 29 percent, of customers said they would choose an Internet service provider

More than a quarter or 29% of customers said they would choose an internet service provider, reaching more than half (52%) of KBC customers and almost a quarter (24%) of Ulster Bank customers.

Meanwhile, Brian McHugh, a member of the CCPC, said that while it was encouraging that almost half of all former customers were in the process of switching, “consumers need to be very proactive to ensure that all direct debits are transferred to them new account to ensure basic bill payments and loans go smoothly.”

The CCPC said former customers should not switch to Long Finger “to avoid potential delays or being unbanked. “

“The CCPC also reminds consumers that delaying the transition process until the last minute can lead to negative consequences such as regular payment failures, loan arrears, security risks and a negative personal credit score.”

However, to simplify the process, we encourage customers to check what options are available to them by logging into CCPC’s online current account comparison tool available on the ccpc.ie website and visiting its switch center on the same website. which provides unbiased switching information and step-by-step instructions.

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