Postbank - all accounts to close by September 30th

Postbank - all accounts to close by September 30th

All Postbank accounts are to be closed by 30th September with current account holders the first to go. 170,000 customers have been affected by Postbank's withdrawal from the market.

Postbank, a joint venture between An Post and BNP Paribas quietly set the date for closure with an announcement on their website this week. Customers have also started receiving letters with details and information on closing their accounts.

Current account holders will have 60 days from the date of the letter to close their accounts. Customers with savings accounts will have to withdraw funds and close their accounts by 30th September.

Postbank had opened 200,000 accounts for over 170,000 by February 2010. Customers were attracted by low cost current accounts and good savings rates. Customers also benefited from the 1000 strong An Post branch network.

Customers have already closed 100,000 accounts, and in the letter sent to current account customers this week, Postbank says that after 60 days from the date of the letter, ATM cards, standing orders, direct debits and overdrafts will all stop working.

Thierry Schuman, chairman of Postbank, said in February that the decision to close the bank was due to "the unprecedented circumstances in which the financial services sector finds itself, the highly competitive savings market within Ireland and the absence of a perspective of profitability in the current market circumstances."

Postbank's announcement comes in the same week that Halifax shuttered the last of it's 44 branches in Ireland. Between Halifax and Postbank, nearly 300,000 Irish banking customers have been displaced and almost 1000 jobs lost.

Commenting on Postbank's announcement, David Kerr, managing director of bonkers.ie said "This is a terrible blow for staff and customers alike and the loss of Halifax and Postbank will have a negative effect on competition and the choices available to customers. There are still good deals out there though, and using a service like bonkers.ie can take the pain out of finding the best new current and savings accounts."

Postbank credit card customers will not be affected as credit cards services are provided by MBNA.

Additional information including withdrawal and closure forms can be found at postbank.ie

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