Customers in Vulnerable Circumstances

older man

It may be that you need some additional support to move your account to a new provider. 

BPFI members have supports in place, including dedicated phone lines and frontline support to guide customers through the process.

To highlight what support is available, we have produced ‘A Guide to Moving Bank Account for Customers in Vulnerable Circumstances’. This can be downloaded here

You may need additional support if you:

  • Have someone else who helps you carry out your day-to-day banking because you have a physical disability.
  • Develop mental capacity issues through an illness such as dementia or Alzheimer’s disease.
  • Have existing mental capacity issues because of a learning disability or mental illness.
  • Are diagnosed with a serious illness.
  • Have an accident or a death in the family and need extra support.
  • Customers who are dealing with life changing experiences and/or stressful situations (e.g., transitioning, divorce, moving home, job changes, unemployment, financial pressures, moving country)
  • Customers who do not have a full understanding of the English language

If you need additional support, you should contact your existing provider and/or your chosen new provider to assist you with taking the first steps to moving your account. If you are comfortable sharing the reason why you need additional support (e.g., you may have accessibility issues or you may be experiencing financial abuse), your new provider will be able to help you put in place the additional supports to assist you.

Frontline staff in a branch, online or on the phone are trained to help you in an empathetic manner. 

Members are strengthening their existing teams who are helping customers that may require enhanced support when they find they are in potentially vulnerable circumstances.  These specially trained teams will support the more complex situations that may arise for customers who need support to move their account. The complexity involved means longer timelines may be required.

You may like to ask someone you trust to help you book an appointment and/or to come to your new provider with you. It is likely that this person will be asked to provide proof of identification.

If you have difficulty making decisions, your new provider will support you. They will help you to understand your options and to let them know your wishes. They will support you to fill out forms if you find that difficult.

Opening an account when you cannot visit a branch

If you find it difficult to visit a branch, your new provider will work through your situation with you and arrange to support you. Contact your new provider on their dedicated Vulnerable Customer Helpline (below) and they will agree an approach that will work for you.

Safeguarding Your Money

Opening an account with a new provider may be an opportunity to review your banking arrangements to safeguard your money.

If you need help managing your money, the staff at your new provider will be happy to talk through your situation. They will be able to give you the most up-to-date information and suggest solutions to suit you.

Getting another person involved in managing your money

You may want to directly involve someone else in managing your money. There are a few different ways to do this, for example:

  • Set up a joint account
  • Set up a third-party authority
  • Set up a power of attorney

The BPFI Guide to Safeguarding Your Money Now and in the Future provides information on these options.

Make an appointment with your new provider for you and your supporter and they will talk you through the options.

During 2022, a new legal framework under the Assisted Decision-Making Act is being introduced which will provide further options. For further information, please visit the Decision Support Service website at http://www.mhcirl.ie/DSS

Caring for someone who needs support

If you are acting for someone under an Enduring Power of Attorney, Ward of Court or Decision-Making Representation Order, please bring the authority to your chosen provider.

If you are caring for a customer who can no longer make specific decisions about their banking and there is no formal agreement in place, please contact their existing and/or new chosen provider on their vulnerable customer helpline (below) and they will support you.

Financial Abuse

If you are worried about the management of your money, or if you feel that you are being pressured to give away money or property in a way that is not in line with your wishes, you can ask your new provider for help. Telling staff about your concerns will help you take appropriate action to help you safeguard your money.

The table below provides dedicated Vulnerable Customer contact details of the main banks in Ireland.

Please keep these lines free those who need this additional support.

BankContact Information
AIB

https://aib.ie/help-and-guidance/need-extra-help

Customer Vulnerability Helpline: 0818 227056
09:00 – 17:00 Monday – Friday

Bank of IrelandVulnerable Customer Unit: 1800 946 146 (9.30am-4.30pm Mon-Fri)
KBC BankCare Team Mon-Fri 9am-5.15pm 1800 804472
permanent tsbEnhanced Customer Support line 0818 – 818 721 or +353 1 655 0581. This line will be open Monday – Friday 9am – 5pm.
Ulster Bank Ireland DAC

https://www.ulsterbank.ie/supporthub

Ulster Bank customers who may need additional help or who need information in a different format due to a disability, health condition, or because their circumstances have changed can telephone 1800 656 001

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