Opening a New Personal Account

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You will have 6 months to move your account to another provider to ensure continuity of your day-to-day banking needs. While this is enough time to make the move, it is advisable to start the process as early as you can to ensure that your account, and any direct debits and standing orders attached to the account, as well as any recurring payments attached to your debit card, is fully moved to another provider and operational before your existing account is closed.

If you haven’t already received a communication from your current bank, you will receive one in the coming months to advise you about the need to move your account and to give you information about what you need to do next. Both KBC Bank and Ulster Bank have confirmed that they will write to their customers on a rolling basis i.e., in batches. They plan to do this over the coming months – Ulster Bank has started to communicate with its customers and KBC Bank intends to start writing to its customers from June. When you receive your communication, please read it carefully and take note of the timeline set out in it as you will have action to take by that date. Your bank is available to support you through the move process and you can contact them with any questions you have here.

It is important to know that you do not have to take action until you receive communication from your bank; however, you can start to prepare now if you wish. We advise you to inform yourself on your options and to do some research about what information you need to have with you to open an account. Under the Consumer Advice section, you will find links to various websites that offer consumer advice and comparisons of the different accounts available from different providers.

To open a new account, you will first need to decide who you want your new provider to be. To get information about account providers, you can go online to individual providers’ websites or contact a local branch.

There are also some useful comparison tools available online at www.ccpc.ie and at www.bonkers.ie. These should help you to decide which is the best option for you, depending on your banking needs.

Once you have chosen your new provider, you will need to decide how you want to open your new account.

5 Simple Steps

  1. Choose – Choose a new provider and collect all the documentation required
  2. Open – Make an appointment to open a new account in-branch or open your account online
  3. Incomings – Once opened, redirect your salary and any other payments into the account
  4. Outgoings – Set up any DDs and SOs on the new account and update any recurring card payments with your new card details. You may also need to update your card details on any other payment platforms that you may use e.g., Google Pay or Apple Pay.
  5. Close – Close your old account

There are several ways that you can open a new account. You can apply online, in-app or in a branch – depending on the provider you choose. You should choose whichever option you are most comfortable with and suits you best.

Online

Most providers have the option for you to open an account digitally, by filling out an application form online or in the case of some providers you can apply in-app. Each provider has a webpage dedicated to account opening where you can find all the information you need to be able to open an account online. You will also find an online application form, if available, or guidance on how to apply in-app.

It is important to note there are certain criteria that apply to be eligible to open an account online. These may differ depending on the provider e.g., some providers do not allow a joint account to be opened online. Your chosen provider will inform you of these.

If you don’t qualify to open an account online, you can apply in your local branch.

In a branch

If you wish to apply for an account in a branch, you may need to make an appointment. You may have to wait to get an appointment with some providers, so you should make one as soon as you can to secure an appointment.

You will be provided with the application form at that appointment and be advised of what you need to do next.

To open a new account, you will need to provide proof of your identity and your address. Please see the full checklist of items you need to provide below.

The reason you must prove your identity is to prevent financial crime e.g., money laundering, terrorist financing, fraud and to ensure that the person opening the account is who they say they are. Financial services providers and their staff are required by law to request this information from you.

Depending on how you open your new account – online or in a branch – there may be different documents required.

You will need to provide at least one form of photographic identification (photo ID) to prove your identity. You will also need to provide at least one document to prove your residential address.

Some examples of the documents that are accepted to open an account are listed in the table below. Your new provider will advise you if these documents are accepted or if not, what other documents may be accepted.


Form of documentation: Photo ID

Examples of accepted documents:

  • A valid passport
  • A valid driving licence
  • A National Age Card
  • An Irish Government Travel Document
  • A Temporary Residence Certificate
  • An Irish Residency Permit

Form of documentation: Proof of address

Examples of accepted documents:

  • A utility bill (gas, electricity, mobile phone), issued within the last 6 months
  • A statement from a regulated financial institution, issued within the last 6 months
  • An insurance policy document, issued within the last 12 months
  • Correspondence from Government Departments/Bodies e.g., the Department of Social Protection, the Revenue Commissioners, issued within the last 6 months

It can take several days to open a new account from when the new provider has all the documentation that is required to be able to complete your application. If you can provide all the required documentation upfront, then an account can be opened immediately.

It will take several days for your new debit card to arrive by post.

Many people will be opening new accounts over the coming months, which is why it is important that you start the process as early as you can.

If you choose to open a new account yourself and gradually transfer across any Direct Debits and Standing Orders, you can continue to use your existing account. However, you should ensure that you have sufficient funds in both existing and new accounts to be able to meet continuing payments and transactions coming out of both accounts.

Once your new account is up and running and you have moved all your payments to your new account, you will be able to close your existing account. Please read the communication you receive from your existing provider to understand the options available to you to close your account and the timeframe they are giving you to do this. You should also go online to read any additional information that may be available on your provider’s website.

You may not be aware but there is a switching process that you can use to move your account. This process is set out in the Central Bank of Ireland’s “Switching Code”, which details the ground rules for providers when you choose to switch your account from one provider to another.

More information is provided in the “Switching your Personal Account to another provider” section.

Yes – there should be no reason why you cannot get a new account, provided you give your new provider the documentation required to complete the application process (e.g., documentation must be in date), and you meet the terms and conditions attached to the account.

You should inform your employer of your new account details as soon as the account is open and you have the new account details, as it may take time for your employer to update your details.

If you receive money into your account such as social welfare payments, pension payments or rental income, you will need to provide the source of these payments with your new account details e.g., the Department of Social Protection, your pension provider, any tenants renting a property you own.

Some companies allow you to update your account details online. More information should be available from these websites.

A joint account is an account that you share with one or more people. The money in the joint account is legally owned by the people listed as the account holders.

To open a joint account, you may be able to apply online with some providers or if not, you will be able to apply in a branch. If you can only open a new joint account in a branch with your chosen new provider, you should make an appointment now so that your appointment time is secured.

All parties to the account will need to provide documentation that proves their identity and address.

Your new provider will give you more details about the criteria that apply if you are applying for a joint account and how you can open it.

Click here to download a checklist that you can use to assist with the account opening process. There is also helpful information about Switching here, if you choose to open your new account by availing of the process set out in the Switching Code.

Your new provider may require additional documents to those listed in the checklist, depending on your individual circumstances and the way in which you choose to open your new account i.e., online or in a branch. However, this checklist will give you a sense of what you need to have to hand to start the process.

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