By Vincent Ryan
Friday, April 05, 2013
In a novel move for a bank in the Irish market, Permanent TSB (PTSB) has dropped quarterly and transaction fees on its latest current account product.
The new package removes quarterly fees and charges for day-to-day transactions for customers who lodge €1,500 a month to their current account.
Niall O’Grady, head of transactional banking at PTSB, said that it was part of a push by the bank to simplify banking.
"With our new PTSB current account, you can ditch quarterly fees, direct debit fees and day-to-day transaction fees. What’s more, we won’t make you jump through hoops to avoid paying them," he said.
This account differentiates it from current accounts in Bank of Ireland and AIB in that it does not require a minimum account balance to qualify for free fees.
It is this distinction that makes it a good product according to comparison website bonkers.ie. Simon Moynihan, Bonkers communications director said: "The best bit is that customers do not need to maintain a balance of €1,500. In fact there is no minimum balance requirement. Customers can lodge their €1,500 and run the balance down to zero on the same day and they will still meet the fee-free requirement for that month. There are no transaction requirements either, so customers don’t need to use their debit cards a certain amount of times or do online transactions every month."
Since last May, AIB customers must maintain a balance of €2,500 to avoid fees, while for Bank of Ireland customers it is €3,000.
Ulster Bank is committed to not introducing fees until Jul 2013.
There has been speculation that KBC Bank will introduce a free current account product in the near future.
A spokesperson for the bank said: "We are currently engaged in product testing and research with a view to launching our new current account later in the year"
This story appeared in the printed version of the Irish Examiner on page 16 - Friday, April 05, 2013