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Bank Of Ireland Fee Charges Crippling

OK, I am extremely sorry and I humbly apologise, but you must understand, when you get to my age you are not as bright and forward thinking as you once were and I suppose this is only to be expected.

But you all have to agree, my brothers and sisters, that placing a two lane pedestrian crossing across Liberty Square in Thurles, at the exit from a public car park, normally gives the casual observer, like myself, the impression that both our County Council and Urban District Council representatives are abusing the hip flask or snorting the white powder through a rolled up twenty. (I have to be careful with what I say here, in case children accidentally find this blog, while in search of World of Warcraft.)

Bank of Ireland, Thurles. We Charge More.

To be fair, how was I to know that “Thurles Bank of Ireland” were going to unexpectedly increase their fee charges. It only hit me yesterday the true reason for the positioning of this pedestrian crossing. It was specially designed as a safety measure to assist small account holders, in their Lemming style rush, to move their deposit accounts from the Bank of Ireland to the Ulster Bank opposite, during busy daily traffic jams.

I am not sure which of our beloved Councils was responsible for this futuristic planning, as it gets harder to understand, daily, who runs what and what is responsible for who.  However, following in the footprints of our past Fianna Fail leader Brian Cowen, I believe I must now make a national apology to these forward thinkers and future planners, who have turned Liberty Square into such a death trap.

But what’s done is done and in the words of  the well known song ‘My Way‘ – “Regrets I’ve had a few, but then again, to few to mention.

Instead, let us concentrate on Bank of Ireland and their new fee structure and ask yourself are these charges fair in the present economic climate, when the Irish workforce have already come to the rescue of such institutions?

Certainly, charities have hit out at this bank for changing their fee structure on basic current accounts, which means more customers will pay charges. Following these announced changes, this countries largest, voluntary, charitable organisation the Society of St Vincent de Paul says it is going to take the issue up with the banks early in the New Year.

From 21st February last, in a three-month period, Bank of Ireland customers will have to see traffic of €3,000 pass through their account, and conduct nine transactions online or by telephone banking. These changes stand to affect mostly people on social welfare and low incomes who would not have €3,000 going through their accounts in any three months. The financial markets crisis has made it harder for banks to raise money in traditional ways – by taking in deposits and raising money through inter-bank loans.  Note, these new charges are not introduced to target the friendly builders and developers they once took to their beds. This is about penalising the average customer and clearly, BOI don’t care if small customers close their accounts and move elsewhere, which is what will happen. Hence it is very obvious that the BOI don’t see themselves, in the future, as a bank of the common people, well I suppose possibly they never did.

Unfortunately we, the true workers and only real backbone of this country, have been forced to give our weekly earnings to keep these institutions in fat salaries and bonuses, to which they now have grown extremely accustomed.

Bank of Ireland’s new charges for current account holders have also been criticised by the Free Legal Advice Centre. Most of the bank’s 1.2 million current account holders will be subject to these new fees. Account holders who do not meet the new criteria will now be charged 28c for each transaction they make. The Free Legal Advice centre states that it “unfair and ill-considered.”  This centre also state that  people on low incomes will not be able to avoid these charges.

Bank of Ireland have argued that providing customers with current account facilities costs it money and these new charges will not affect the 26% of Bank of Ireland customers who hold “Golden Years” or student accounts.

However you look at it, the nature of the implemented charges by BOI mean that those who have large transactions will suffer the least and conversely, those who cannot make large payments will just suffer.

It is time, I believe, to use that pedestrian crossing in Liberty Square, with the Ulster bank positioned conveniently right opposite. They do a nice little 4% daily rate on savings and Maria, Sonya, Camillus, James or Brede are usually more than happy to assist their daily customers.

The days of servile acceptance, while bowing to greedy institutions, have long passed here on the island of fairies and leprechauns.

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9 comments to Bank Of Ireland Fee Charges Crippling

  • Gerard Connaughton

    Thanks for warning us about Bank of Ireland’s new charges. However, the article’s portrayal of Bank of Ireland as the baddie and Ulster bank as the goodie was a little facetious. The 4% daily rate quoted in the article is actually an ANNUAL rate and there are a lot of Terms and Conditions associated with this particular account. The article reads almost like the author socialises with the staff of Ulster Bank Thurles! A bit of objectivity please.

  • Hi Gerard,
    Thank you for your comment. For the record I do not socialise with any Bank officials, truth is, because of banks I can’t afford to do any socializing.
    There is one other ‘Casino’ in Thurles, namely AIB, which I could have sent customers, but word is, it is likely to vanish shortly.
    Surely you would not want me to inconvenience my readers therefore, by having them move their accounts twice in the one year.
    Check out the rates with Ulster tomorrow for clarification.
    Question: Which bank is cheaper to do business with presently and do you think my 85 year old granny could conduct nine banking transactions online, when she can hardly turn on the TV?
    Would you be a bank official yourself?

  • Gerard Connaughton

    Hi George, Ulster Bank’s best rate is indeed 4% but this is an ANNUAL rate. 1 euro invested at a 4% DAILY rate would amount to €1,648,803 in a year’s time! By the way, your granny needn’t worry about fees, as at 85 she qualifies for free banking with Bank of Ireland under their Golden Years scheme. As this is http://www.thurles.info/ let’s give the readers some info on best deposit rates. I would recommend people visit the following URLs and make their own minds up on what’s best for them: Best Buy Term Deposits (Fixed Lump Sum Savings): http://www.askaboutmoney.com/showthread.php?t=101813 and Best Buy – Regular Savings Accounts: http://www.askaboutmoney.com/showthread.php?t=20747 These web pages are regularly updated and have handy links to the various institutions featured. Irony of ironies the best fixed lump sum AER rates at the moment are available from the government under their “State Savings” brand through your local post office! This is because all the other institutions are forced to charge DIRT @ a punitive 27% while the post office interest is DIRT free! These are longer term products, 3, 4, 5 & 1/2 and 10 year and may not suit everybody. The term “casino” when referring to local bank branches is very unfair and inflammatory. I’m sure a lot of the frontline staff (on the counters) have had to put up with a lot of abuse from some customers over the past two years. In my experience the staff of these bank branches are hardworking dedicated people who have no responsibility for the mess their directors and senior management have created. With regard to AIB it is currently 95% nationalised but will probably be around for a long time to come. The incoming Fine Gael administration understand AIB’s systemic importance and have indicated they are going to look for a foreign buyer for it. Finally, I don’t work in the banking industry!

  • Hi Gerard,
    Your comments and links will be of great interest to readers and I thank you. I of course did leave out the word ‘annual’ but I believe readers are not totally stupid.
    In no way was my article a criticism of front line bank staff, for to do so would be rather like accusing SS Standartenführer Hilmar Wäckerle, head of Dachau concentration camp of being responsible for the death of 6,000,000 jews. After all he was only acting on orders from his High Command.

    Both Bank of Ireland and A.I.B., were allowed to remained Ireland’s dirty secret by those who were paid to ensure proper rules and regulations were followed. Both banks are older than the Ireland state itself with the Bank of Ireland founded in around 1783, and A.I.B. cast from three banks all founded in the 19th century. Both are now bust and shortly next month we may be able to reflect on their honesty.
    In 1997 the Irish banks were funded entirely by Irish deposits. By 2005 they were getting most of their money from overseas. Small European savers who supplied the Irish banks with deposits for relending in Ireland could take their money back on line, with just a series of clicks with their computer mouse.
    Since 2000, lending to construction rose from the European norm of 8% to 28%. One hundred billion euros equivilant to the sum total of all Irish public bank deposits was being handed over to Irish developers and speculators and in some cases within hours of a request.
    By 2007, Irish banks were lending 40% more to a small number of property developers than they had loaned to the entire Irish population just seven years earlier.
    This Gerard is ‘unfair’ and ‘inflammatory,’ especially when those who had no hand, act or part in this gambling activity are being forced to pick up the tab.
    Will the foreign investors who will buy our bust bank give us our money back?

  • Hi Gerard,
    You will remember my remark “we may be able to reflect on their honesty”, in my last comment on Bank of Ireland. Now you understand that of which I hinted. This new info has been in the hands of Press people for weeks, but without admission from banks, no one dared to print it.
    http://www.independent.ie/business/irish/lenihan-to-get-apology-from-boi-over-bank-bonuses-2563662.html
    Do you still believe I am ‘unfair’ and ‘inflammatory,’ considering the taxpayer must now pay a €2 million fine for their deceit, as well as their mounting debt?
    But everything is OK because Lenihan will get an apology.

  • Gerard Connaughton

    George, let me clarify my position. I am in total agreement with you about the senior management and directors of the banks. These people, in the pursuit of their greedy agendas, sanctioned and encouraged the lending of vast sums of money mainly to property developers to buy “bubble priced” property and land. They recklessly destroyed their own banks in a few short years and caused the collapse of the Irish economy with them. In BOI’s and AIB’s cases they followed lemming-like the lead provided mainly by Anglo Irish Bank. Evidence that this culture still exists at the senior levels of the banks is contained in the latest revelations. However, I distinguish between the disastrous behaviour at the head offices of these banks and the operations carried out at the branches locally. I still believe your reference to “the other ‘casino’ in Thurles, namely AIB” was unfair and inflammatory. A modern economy cannot function without a solid branch network providing “intermediation” services, ATMs, cheque clearing facilities, loans to SMEs, mortgages, deposits etc. These are the necessary services the local branches of the banks have provided and hopefully will continue to provide into the future.

  • Just imagine,there’s no bank official or regulator in gaol yet.

  • It is unlikely that any bank official will go to jail. I base this statement on two facts.
    (1) Thieving politicians who misappropriate expences claims, paid by the public purse, are not investigated by our Gardaí.
    (2) Senior Bank Official investigated by our Gardaí and found negligent, will drag this country through the courts, at the expence of the taxpayer, for years.
    Anyway, do we have any space left in our jails to place them?. The going rate for those guilty of murder is about 5 years – with remission.

  • I’ll have to get Biddy Early to put a curse on them

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