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Ulster Bank drops free banking with €4 monthly charge for current accounts

Ulster Bank will charge €4 a month for current accounts from July – unless customers keep minimum balances or lodge certain amounts.

Image: Niall Carson/PA Archive

ONE OF THE COUNTRY’S largest banks is to introduce charges for its current accounts from July.

Ulster Bank will charge customers €4 per month for current, standard, dual and facility accounts from July 1.

Customers will only be able to avoid the charges if they lodge €3,000 per month to their accounts, or if they keep a minimum cleared balance of €3,000 throughout the month.

Holders of student, graduate, and ‘adapt’ accounts will not be hit with the flat rate charge.

The introduction only affects Ulster Bank customers in the Republic – customers in Northern Ireland, or those of the bank’s British parent, RBS, will still be offered free banking without any obligations to keep a minimum cash balance or make a minimum monthly lodgement.

The charges follow the introduction of current account charges by both AIB and Bank of Ireland last year.

The decision means the country’s four main retail banks – AIB, Bank of Ireland, Ulster Bank and Permanent TSB – all now place terms and conditions on their current accounts in order for customers to escape charges.

Permanent TSB announced last week that it was offering transaction-free banking if customers lodged €1,500 per month, though said it would not require a minimum balance to be maintained.

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AIB requires customers to keep a balance of €2,500 every day for three months in order to escape a €4.50-per-quarter fee, which is supplemented by fees of 20c or 30c per transaction.

Bank of Ireland offers two models for fees – allowing customers to either pay a 28c-per-transaction flat fee, or a €11.40 fee per quarter to cover up to 90 transactions. In those cases, however, a minimum credit balance of €3,000 means fees will be waived.

Read: Students advised to compare bank accounts before signing up

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Gavan Reilly

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