AIB opens record number of accounts as Ulster Bank and KBC prepare to exit


AIB has recorded the largest number of account openings in a single week as customers of both Ulster Bank and KBC Bank Ireland look to set up new accounts.

n the week to 29 May, around 11,000 customers signed up for an account with AIB, a figure that includes both current and deposit accounts. This number was up 122pc compared to the same week last year, with the number of new accounts open this year to date rising by 61pc.

Last year, customers opened 99,000 accounts, while 160,000 accounts have been opened in the first half of 2022.

AIB said it had noted a “consistent upward trend” in account opening since both Ulster Bank and KBC revealed their intentions to permanently withdraw from the Irish market.

Ulster Bank plans to cease customer transactions by the end of March 2023, while KBC also expects to end all transactions by the end of August 2023.

Both Ulster Bank and KBC have now also written to customers to advise them that they now have six months to close their accounts. KBC will also no longer accept any applications for its products from 15 July.

At present, Ulster Bank has around 360,000 active current accounts, while KBC has130,000 current account customers.

To meet demand, AIB has recruited 700 temporary staff and redeployed 300 existing staff.

“The changes in the banking market represent a huge opportunity for AIB to welcome hundreds of thousands of new customers and we are working to ensure they have as seamless an experience as possible,” said managing director of retail banking Jim O’Keefe.

He added that 70pc of personal customers can now open an account directly online.

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