Permanent TSB is likely to take over the mortgage and deposit accounts of Ulster Bank when it leaves this market next year, but the 500,000 current accounts may not move to Permanent TSB. Difficulties transferring current accounts, with constantly changing balances and complex instructions such as live direct debits, from one bank to another means Ulster Bank may not transfer them to Permanent TSB. The accounts may be closed instead. Some of those impacted by the decision of Bank of Ireland to close 88 branches and the closure of KBC Bank may also seek out an alternative current account provider, Mr Newcombe said. He said the 45 credit unions offering the current account product makeup around half the membership of all credit unions across the State and have 185 branch offices between them.
“Credit unions are a credible alternative to banks. They are trusted, have the branch network and now have the technical capability to offer current accounts and online banking.“We are ready to make a play for the 500,000 Ulster Bank accounts,” he said. Credit unions have invested heavily in the technology to improve the member experience, he added.“You can open a current account online without even needing to visit the credit union, or in a branch, if you prefer – the important difference is you have a choice.”Members can access and control their finances 24/7 and 365 days a year online and through their mobile phones. Fintechs such as Revolut and N26 do not offer loans as part of their accounts, he said.