Latest : See our Comparison of Bank Charges in Ireland with all the latest account charges compared.
Ulster Bank first introduced bank charges on personal current accounts in July 1st 2013 ( a €4 monthly “maintenance charge”). This charge was be waived if customers maintained a balance of more than €3000 over the whole month.
From April 2019 Ulster Bank are going to charge €2 a month admin fee – with no waivers. If the account balance falls below €3000 in a month they will also charge transaction fees. More details here
PTSB . Since June 2016 new PTSB customers can get a current account called “Explore” which has a €4 per month charge but customers can get cashback for certain transactions – which in some cases could be more than the admin fee.
KBC have a current account which has a €6 quarterly charge plus other charges if the balance falls below €2000. (ATM 30c; Cheque Lodgement 30c )
Bank of Ireland : Since August 2013 most BOI current account customers are charged €5 per quarter. (exclusions for pensioners and students) . Transaction fees are also charged on top of this €5 maintenance fee – but these can be avoided if €3000 is kept in the account .
AIB : a balance of at least €2500 is required at all times to qualify for free banking at AIB. If you don’t qualify for free banking with AIB – you will be charged €4.50 a quarter (admin) plus charges for most transactions. (Pensioners get exemptions).
One possible way to avoid some bank charges would be to get an extra current account from online bank N26 . They have no fees on debit card spending here or anywhere in the Eurozone.
N26 are based in Germany but operate in many EU countries. Any money lodged with them is protected by the German bank guarantee. (Max €100k). It is an online operated account – and you will get the best use of it if you have a smartphone. You can’t go overdrawn (which is probably a good thing !)
You can transfer money from your main “account ” and use the N26 account for spending with no transaction charges . You can set up direct debits on N26 too – (there are a few Irish companies that don’t seem to accept DDs from N26 – but they are at fault, not N26)
Having a second account with a couple of hundred euro is safer than cash under a mattress and could come in handy if your”main” bank has IT problems . (As has happened with some Irish banks in the past).
In the UK- bank transaction charges are rare. Unlike it’s Irish current account customers – Bank of Ireland’s current account customers in the UK have fee free banking without any extra conditions – as long as they stay in credit!
AIB also operate current accounts in the UK – and they do not charge any day to day transaction fees or monthly admin fees. They only charge fees when an account is overdrawn .
The banks in Ireland have less competition – with AIB and BOI having a large proportion of all the current accounts. So they know that they can get away with charging their Irish customers . Maybe more people should complain and switch to a bank that does not charge fees.