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Bank Charges

Bank of Ireland to begin charging some people for first time

Consumer group criticises decision to begin imposing fees on some customers from 21 February.

THE CONSUMERS’ ASSOCIATION of Ireland has criticised Bank of Ireland’s plans to introduce new charges as of 21 February.

BOI announced today that customers must have at least €1,000 going into their accounts every month and current account holders who do not make at least nine payments every three months will have to pay fees, RTÉ reports.

The payments can be made via Banking 365 or online banking. Alternative to meeting those conditions, customers should have a minimum credit balance of €3,000 during the fee quarter.

BOI will charge customers who don’t meet the new criteria from 21 February 2011 €0.28 per transaction. Student accounts and Golden Years accounts will not be affected.

The chief executive of the Consumers’ Association of Ireland Dermot Jewell told RTÉ News at One that the charges would cause problems for a lot of consumers, particularly people who were unable to make the required minimum number of payments.

He said the approach of banks in Ireland to charging was a ‘let’s see how this goes’ attitude, and there was no real competition left in the sector.

BusinessWorld reports that right now, anyone with a balance of at least €500 in their current account who makes three payments every quarter qualifies for free banking.

Last weekend, the Sunday Times reported that the bank was finalising its plan to raise €1.5bn necessary to meet its capitalisation requirements by the end of February. That plan is due to be submitted to the Financial Regulator before the end of this year.

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