KBC and Ulster Bank exit Ireland in 2023
Do you still have a KBC or Ulster Bank account open? Are any of your recurring transactions being paid by their cards or into these accounts? Switch to another bank account immediately or risk additional fees and difficulties with suppliers.
Branch closures and Credit Card Stamp Duty are imminent
KBC and Ulster Bank are continuing their phased exits from the Irish market. KBC and Ulster Bank customers are being urged to choose an alternative provider, move their recurring transactions, pay any outstanding balances and ensure there is sufficient funds to cover the Government Stamp Duty of €30 on April 1st, before closing their credit cards.
- Ulster Bank will stop transactions in branches on March 31st and close remaining branches on April 21st 2023.
- KBC Bank Ireland are closing most of their Hubs permanently from 5pm on 10th March 2023, with the Grand Canal Dublin Hub will close on August 31st 2023.
Credit cards will soon no longer work and any recurring transactions will be cancelled and returned unpaid. Customers should ensure that their new account details are registered with suppliers and any government bodies, such as the Irish Revenue for PAYE and tax refunds, where appropriate.
One key aspect to note, for departing customers with credit cards, is ensuring that Credit Card Stamp Duty (€30) isn’t paid twice in 2023. This duty is a tax charged by the Government on credit cards issued in the Republic of Ireland each year. It is charged on the 1st April each year (for the preceding year) or when an account is closed.
When you close an account, you are charged the duty. If you are opening an account with a new provider, ensure you don’t pay the tax twice in one year. Ulster Bank have noted they will send a Stamp Duty Letter of closure confirming that Government Stamp Duty has been paid – after custiomers have paid their outstanding balances including Government Stamp Duty. This letter should be submitted to new providers so that you are not charged again for the same time period on 1st April 2023.
50,000 Irish accounts require action and the claiming of funds
Ulster Bank has frozen 126,000 accounts since November, with another 20,000 active accounts facing the same, before all credit cards cease to function on March 22. Around half of these were current accounts and in some cases cheques have been issued for the outstanding balances. A bank spokesperson said the vast majority had balances under €10 but some had amounts above €10,000.
KBC confirmed in early February that its sale of assets to Bank Ireland has completed, and that there are around 26,000 KBC customers who need to open a new account with a different provider as they were not part of the transfer deal. Around 150,000 KBC customers will transfer to Bank of Ireland as part of the €6.4 billion deal.
Information on the closures, including FAQs and information for customers in financial difficulty, can be found on their websites:
- Important update from KBC Bank Ireland – KBC
- Customer Support Hub for Account Closure (ulsterbank.ie)