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Ulster Bank

Ulster Bank extends first account closure deadline until 4 November

The bank announced its withdrawal from the Irish market in February.

ULSTER BANK IS to extend the deadline for customers whose accounts are due to become non-operational this week by an extra month. 

The bank announced its withdrawal from the Irish market in February. It began contacting customers in April to give them a six-month notice period to close their accounts.

The first customers to receive their six-month notice period are due to see that elapse on Saturday, 8 October. 

However, Ulster Bank has said it has taken the decision move the process of making these accounts non-operational to on or after 4 November, four weeks later than originally planned. 

The bank said the change of date will facilitate the application of the majority of the Department of Social Protection’s additional payments, announced in the Budget last week. 

Of the customers who received their first formal notification in April and May, almost two-thirds (64%) have either closed or wound down their current account or left it approaching inactive or dormant, according to Ulster Bank. 

The bank said it is “continuously reaching out” to the remaining one third of these customers, adding most are reporting that they have opened a new account elsewhere and are in the process of moving their payments to their new account. 

Ulster Bank said over 75% of its personal current acount customers in receipt of social protection payments have already taken action on their accounts. 

Earlier today, Ulster Bank held another session with advocates for personal customers in vulnerable situations and advocates for olders customers.

“As a bank, we have worked very hard to reach out to our customers to ensure that they are aware of their individual notice period and what will happen next, avoiding any surprises for them,” Ulster Bank chief executive Jane Howard said. 

“It is crucial for all customers to understand that their notice to Choose-Move-Close still stands and they do need to take action on their current account and deposit accounts when they receive their notice from us,” Howard said. 

“As we move to this critical point, I reiterate our commitment to withdraw on a phased and orderly basis and today’s announcement is in line with that,” she said. 

The Banking & Payments Federation Ireland (BPFI) today announced that all five retail banks have put dedicated phonelines in place to help vulnerable customers switch banks following Ulster Bank and KBC’s exit from the Irish market.

BPFI has also launched a new guide aimed a vulnerable customers, and those caring for them in a personal or private capacity, who are in the process of moving to a new financial services provider.

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