“Well I’ll probably keep my RBS account open at least for a while, and maybe I’ll open a current account with Ulster Bank as they are part of the same group”.
Hmmm, not so fast!
Now let us state clearly that we have nothing against either RBS or Ulster Bank - this is a response we recently heard from a client and we simply use it as an example. We view Ulster Bank alongside the two largest traditional Irish banks, Bank of Ireland and Allied Irish Banks (AIB) as the main providers of personal retail banking services to consumers in Ireland. In doing so, they provide services pretty similar to those provided by the traditional large players in the UK – Barclays, Lloyds, RBS, Santander etc
The word “traditional” though keeps raising its head… The global revolution in banking is well underway in Ireland too and the Irish high street banks are now fighting a tough rear-guard battle against the new challenger banks such as Revolut, and to a lesser extent the German bank N26.
They are definitely worth a look before you dive into a new banking relationship with a high street bank.
Revolut has grabbed lots of headlines in Ireland, now with over half a million Irish customers. Revolut is not actually a bank, it is an “Electronic Money Institution”. However, your pay cheque can be paid to Revolut, you can withdraw money at ATMs, set up direct debits, use Apple Pay & Google Pay etc., just like with any other bank. However, there are also a host of innovative features and very competitive charges.
None of the cash held with Revolut is covered by the Deposit Guarantee Scheme - Revolut isn't a bank
N26 on the other hand is not as well-known, but now has more than 150,000 Irish customers. It has a full European banking licence. Again, they have lots of great features and their fees are very competitive. Like Revolut, it’s all very easy to do everything on your phone.
Whilst Revolut might have the edge in terms of functionality, they are moving their operations to Dublin. This could have a significant impact in one important area of financial planning for people moving to Ireland - Remittance basis planning. This needs careful consideration and advice, and as a result we usually recommend opening an account with N26.
On an associated topic and as we’re talking about banking and money, you may also have money that you want to bring with you from the UK or elsewhere to Ireland. We believe people should really shop around here too. It’s very easy to avoid the uncompetitive rates offered by High Street Banks when moving substantial amounts from one currency to another, using the options available today through the likes of Currencies Direct. This could literally save you hundreds or indeed thousands of Euros and could pay for your first holiday back to see friends and family in the UK!
There are lots of new possibilities open to you now when it comes to banking. Take your time and identify the provider that meets your needs in terms of fees, features and security.
Who will you build your banking relationship with when you move to Ireland? Global Wealth assists and guides individuals in making wise financial decisions when moving to Ireland.