Dedicated supports for vulnerable customers moving bank account remain in place across retail banks ahead of Ulster Bank closures today – BPFI and Safeguarding Ireland
BPFI guide for vulnerable customers and carers available at movingaccount.ie
Friday 21st April – Banking & Payments Federation Ireland (BPFI) and Safeguarding Ireland are today alerting customers that dedicated phonelines and supports for vulnerable customers moving bank account, as well as their carers, remain in place across all five retail banks. The reminder comes ahead of the closure of Ulster Bank’s remaining branches across the country today.
In tandem with the supports, BPFI is also highlighting the availability of its guide (available here) for 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. The guide details the different types of circumstances which may lead a customer to require additional assistance as they move account and provides examples of the various types of solutions which banks can put in place.
Speaking today, Brian Hayes, Chief Executive BPFI said: “As we reach the final stages of the account migration process our members are continuing to work with a small number of customers who are considered to be in vulnerable circumstances. Significant customer outreach and support for these customers has been underway for some time by the exiting banks and today we are strongly urging all customers, or their carers, who feel they require additional assistance to contact their bank as soon as possible.”
“BPFI and its member banks are acutely aware that moving bank can be a daunting experience, particularly for customers who may be in vulnerable circumstances. Frontline staff – online, on the phone, or in the remaining banks’ branches – are trained to help and we are encouraging all those customers who feel they need additional support to contact their new provider on their dedicated phoneline to discuss their individual situation. Banks understand the importance of supporting decision making for all customers, and while some cases are quite complex and may take more time, our member banks understand that each case is different and will work to ensure that customers’ needs are at the centre of the solution.”
Safeguarding Ireland Chairperson Patricia Rickard-Clarke added: “It is important to remember that all of us can face challenges at different times in our lives for a variety of reasons, ranging from diminished cognitive ability, serious illness, sudden life events such as bereavement, and language or communication challenges, among others. While some customers can navigate the steps involved in moving account with extra support from their bank, others may need the help of a trusted family member, carer or a legal representative. If you are a customer or the carer of a customer who requires additional or tailored support, the most important thing is to just pick up the phone and talk to your bank.”
Today’s reminder forms part of a wider programme of work which BPFI and its member banks have undertaken since the beginning of 2022, including ongoing and in-depth training for front line bank staff, as well as regular cross-bank meetings through BPFI’s Vulnerable Customer Forum to discuss and agree a shared understanding of the challenges for and best practice approach to customers in vulnerable circumstances.
Support and information are currently available from both the exiting and remaining banks and financial institutions in addition to BPFI’s site movingaccount.ie and through the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC) at www.ccpc.ie. Throughout 2023, BPFI will continue to work closely with its members, regulators and other key stakeholders such as Safeguarding Ireland to support customers and to help them complete the move to a new provider.
A copy of the guide, along with a host of other information on moving bank account is available on BPFI’s movingaccount.ie website here.
Note: The dedicated vulnerable customer phonelines for those who need additional support moving accounts are as follows:
AIB 0818 227 056
Bank of Ireland 1800 946 146
KBC Bank 1800 804 472
permanent tsb 0818 818 721
Ulster Bank Ireland 1800 656 001
Banking & Payments Federation Ireland (BPFI) represents the banking, payments and fintech sector in Ireland. Together with its affiliates, the Federation of International Banks in Ireland and the Fintech & Payments Association of Ireland, BPFI has over 125 member institutions and associates, including licensed domestic and foreign banks and institutions operating in the financial marketplace.
Safeguarding Ireland promotes safeguarding of adults to protect them from all forms of abuse by persons, organisations and institutions and to deliver a national plan for promoting their welfare – www.safeguardingireland.org.
Fiona Murphy, Head of Communications, firstname.lastname@example.org 087 9740046
Jillian Heffernan, Director of Communications, email@example.com 087 9016880
Ronan Cavanagh, Safeguarding Ireland, firstname.lastname@example.org 086 3179731