THE vast majority of people who bank with Ulster Bank and KBC Bank Ireland have sorted out their banking needs, a study commissioned by a banking lobby group claims.
Just 13pc of those with an account in the departing banks still need to open a new one with a different financial provider, research published by Banking and Payments Federation Ireland (BPFI) shows.
The representative group for the banks here commissioned Amárach to conduct nationally representative research.
It found that as of last December some 68pc of customers of the two banks have either opened a new account or plan to use an existing account in another institution.
Another 17pc of customers of the two banks are planning to close their account without replacing it.
Although the research has found that just one in 10 have yet to put new banking arrangements in place, this group may be the hardest to get to close their existing accounts and get new ones.
This is because those yet to get a new bank are likely to be people who struggle with financial matters, and online banking in particular.
Much of the work of setting up a new account has to be done manually, and the process is extremely challenging for older and vulnerable people.
There was enormous criticism of banks and the Central Bank this time last year for the slow pace of customers of the two banks making new banking arrangements.
The research shows there has been a big fall-off in the proportion of Ulster Bank and KBC Bank customers using their current account for certain regular payments between November and December.
The research found that just 12pc of respondents who had a current account with an exiting bank were using that account to receive social welfare income payments in December
This is down from 24pc a month earlier.
And the proportion making mobile phone or home phone/broadband direct debit payments from an exiting bank account fell from about 30pc in November to 20pc in December.
Head of the Banking and Payments Federation Brian Hayes claimed massive progress has been made getting people to close existing Ulster and KBC bank accounts and switch to other providers.
Mr Hayes said: “The findings of the survey clearly demonstrate the huge amount of progress that has been made by the industry in the migration of hundreds of thousands of customer accounts, with the majority of impacted customers reporting that they have either completed the move to a new provider or that they are well into the process.”
He said it was significant that just one in 10 customers still need to open an account.
But he said it was important to recognise that there is still a job of work to be done in getting this group of customers across the line.
“Significant customer outreach to these customers has been underway for some time by the exiting banks and today we are strongly urging all customers who need to open a new account to do so as soon as possible by engaging with a new provider to establish new banking arrangements.”
He said there was support and information available from both the exiting and remaining banks and financial institution.
Mr Hayes directed customers of the departing banks to the Banking and Payments Federation’s Movingaccount.ie website and to the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CPCC) at cpcc.ie.