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fee hike AIB and Bank of Ireland customers to face new charges


CUSTOMERS of the two largest banks are to be hit this week by changes in fee arrangements.

AIB will impose charges on around 200,000 customers for the first time from this Saturday.

Bank of Ireland has a new charging structure since Monday. It will see the replacement of 26 individual charges with a fixed €6 monthly fee.

The new Bank of Ireland monthly fee will be charged to personal customers for the first time from December 31 next.

But on this date customers will also be charged the old-style quarterly transactions fee for the last time.

This will mean consumers will be hit with a double whammy of charges.

The new €6 fee will be deducted from customers’ accounts. And on the same date customers will also be charged fees for the three months up to November.

A spokesperson for the bank said: “This is the only time you will be charged fees for two different periods at one time.”

From last Monday the bank replaced 26 individual charges with a new fixed €6 monthly fee.

Over a year this is set to cost customers €72.

It means that all customers who previously kept a certain amount on balance with the banks to avoid fees or reduced fee, will now face banking charges as there is no way of avoiding the €6 fee.

The bank insisted that the majority, six out of 10 account holders, will benefit from the new charging regime, with an average saving of €5 per month.

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But it admitted that four out of 10 account holders will pay more – on average by €3 per month.

A number of accounts will not be impacted, including accounts for those aged over 66, and its junior savings, third level and graduate accounts.

From Saturday AIB is removing an option for those with spare funds to avoid fees.

Up to now customers who keep a balance of at least €2,500 in their account at all times can avoid quarterly maintenance fees and other charges.

But from the end of this week, AIB will end fee-free transactions and account management for customers who avoided fees and charges up to now by maintaining a balance of €2,500 in their account.

It will mean average annual costs of around €72 for these customers.

AIB’s withdrawal of the free banking for those who could keep €2,500 in their current account will negatively impact around one in 10 of its current account customers, it said.

They will be hit with quarterly maintenance fee of €4.50.

In addition, transaction charges will apply. These range from 20c for an automated transaction, to 35c for an ATM withdrawal.

And an over-the-counter transaction cost of 39c will apply no matter how much money is kept in the current account.

The new costs will apply to accounts from this week, but will not be charged to accounts until the end of next March.

Average quarterly fees paid by customers who pay fees are €18, the bank said.

Meanwhile, digital bank N26 bolstered its premium range with N26 Smart, a new premium digital bank account to help Irish customers save and spend.

The new product is one of three monthly subscription offerings from the Berlin-headquartered company available locally. The others being N26 You and N26 Metal.

N26 Smart, which includes a number of money management features, is available to customers at €4.90 a month.

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