ACCOUNT HOLDERS with AIB should consider walking away from the bank after it introduced a new regime of charges, the chief executive of the National Consumer Agency has said.
Ann Fitzgerald called the charges “an insult” to current and future customers of AIB. She urged consumers not to “stay passive”, saying:
The bank wins if we as consumers accept it. The bank does not win if we as consumers look at our other options and move our money to wherever suits us best.
Fitzgerald also told RTÉ’s Morning Ireland that the National Consumer Agency believes AIB may have broken the consumer protection code of the Central Bank. She said the body would be asking the Financial Regulator at the bank to examine AIB’s new charging regime.
We will be writing to the Central Bank today and asking: Is this in the consumers’ best interests? Have they approved this decision by AIB?
She said that while other banks also charge fees on some current accounts, they are calculated in a different way – for example by the amount of money passing through the account on a monthly basis, or the number of online banking transactions.
Under AIB’s new system, customers will need to maintain a balance of at least €2,500 in their current accounts for a three-month period in order to avoid the charges.
Otherwise accounts will be subjected to a €4.50 quarterly maintenance fee, with an additional 20c for every electronic transaction and 30c for every other transaction.