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Relocation Series: Banking in Ireland

Banking is one of the essential services you will need to set up when you relocate to Ireland. There are many different options available whether you choose a bricks and mortar option or decide to stay completely online.

For someone who relocates to Ireland it can be difficult to decide what option is best for you, it is recommended to do some research and understand the services available which will hopefully make the process easier and less stressful.

Choosing a Bank

Banks in Ireland offer a range of services such as bank accounts, credit cards, loans, mortgages, investments, and insurances. The two most common types of bank accounts are current accounts and savings accounts. Most people in Ireland get their wages paid into their current account.

When choosing a bank, it is important to shop around to get the best deal. To avoid paying high fees, look for banks that offer free services if you meet conditions such as, having a minimum amount in your account and/or depositing a minimum monthly amount into your account (this one is usually achievable if you are getting your salary paid into the account). Be careful to read the fine print, as some deals may only be temporary e.g. they might offer an ‘introductory rate’ which applies for the first few months after opening the account, but then may revert to higher fees after this period.

Banks usually provide a combined ATM and debit card with your current account. ATM’s are prevalent in Ireland, but it pays to check whether your new bank has plenty of accessible ones in the area that you live in. Banks also provide internet/online, telephone and mobile phone banking services, however the quality of this service can vary between banks.

  • Bank of Ireland
  • Allied Irish Banks (AIB)
  • Educational Building Society (EBS)
  • Permanent TSB (PTSB)

Two people sitting at a table, with a passport and clipboard.
Opening a Bank Account

To open a bank account in Ireland you will need the following:

1. Personal details:

An address and Irish mobile phone number.

2. Photo identification:

Such as a passport or a full Irish drivers licence – they may also accept a full EU drivers licence.

3. Evidence of your Irish residential address:

Two forms of non-photographic identification. They need to be documents that have your name and residential address on them and they need to be dated within the last 6 months. Accepted forms are:

  • Bank statement or credit card statement (if you are new to Ireland, then this will only work if your bank from your home country has been sending these to your home address in Ireland).
  • Utility bill e.g. electricity, internet, water.
  • Current household/contents insurance, health insurance or motor insurance certificate.
  • They may also accept your rental agreement as one form of evidence.

4. PPS Number:

This is not essential when opening an account but they may ask you for it if you are working and paying your salary into the account.

Bank Charges

The charges for a bank account in Ireland can vary depending on the type of account and the financial institution. Some common fees that may apply include:

  • Maintenance fee: This is a monthly or annual fee charged for maintaining the account.
  • ATM fee: This fee may be charged when using an ATM that is not affiliated with your bank.
  • Overdraft fee: This fee may be charged if you exceed your account balance and withdraw more money than you have available.
  • Transaction fee: This fee may be charged for certain types of transactions, such as international transfers.
  • Minimum balance fee: This fee may be charged if you don't maintain a minimum balance in your account.
  • Card replacement fee: This fee may be charged if you need a replacement card.

It's important to compare different banks and account options to find the one that best suits your needs and offers the most affordable fees. Some banks also offer fee waivers or discounts for certain types of accounts or customers, such as students or seniors.

The Government charges a stamp duty on your financial cards i.e. your ATM and debit card. For cards that act as both an ATM and debit card (which most people have), you will be charged a higher duty. Credit card holders get charged an even higher duty.
These duties get automatically charged to your account annually, so there is no avoiding them.

A pile of credit cards on top of a laptop keyboard.Money Transfers

When you open your bank account you will be given a National Sort Code (NSC, but typically referred to as the ‘sort code’). This 6 digit code identifies both the bank and the branch where the account is held. If you are transferring money within the Republic of Ireland (e.g. paying your rent), you will be asked to provide your sort code alongside your bank account number. This number is also usually printed on your bank statements.

If you want to carry out money transfers within the EU then you need an account with SEPA capabilities. This is a European Union initiative to simplify the process for bank transfers using the euro.

SEPA countries include all countries that are members of the EU:
Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom. It also includes Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Monaco and Switzerland.

You will also need to use the bank's Business Identifier Code (BIC). This is the address assigned to a bank in order to accurately send automated payments to the bank concerned. It uniquely identifies the name and country (and sometimes the branch) of the bank involved. BICs are often called SWIFT (Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication) Codes and can be either 8 or 11 characters long. SWIFT provides a network that enables financial institutions worldwide to send and receive information about financial transactions in a secure, standardised and reliable environment.

The easiest, safest and cheapest way to carry out international money transfers to or from countries outside of the SEPA is via:

  • International money exchange companies
  • At a bank
  • At any An Post office branch

Typically, the more that you transfer, the better the rate you will get. Be sure to shop around to get the best rate and look out for companies that may have hidden fees. If you are transferring large amounts of money, then many international money exchange companies waive the fees which can save you a lot of money.

Opening Hours

Banks are open usually weekdays 9.30am or 10am and close at 4pm or 4.30pm. Most banks have one evening per week where they open after 5pm e.g. in Dublin this is usually on Thursdays.
Most banks open their main branches in town and city areas on Saturdays for reduced hours, EG. 10am to 1pm.

Online banking

Money Jar is an Irish-owned, digital current account that offers the first 6 months free with our exclusive partnership code.
They offer Irish Account IBAN, Create jars to help organise your finances and put money aside towards larger purchases, Make, accept & schedule payments – No financial surprises, SEPA transactions between other bank accounts, Free peer to peer transfers to other Money Jar users and a contactless Prepaid Mastercard – secure and trusted.
Clarity have teamed up with Money Jar to make the relocation process that bit easier! Get your first 6 months free with our exclusive partnership code.
To avail of this offer, simply download the app and use our unique promo code 56731 during setup.

Revolut is a financial technology company that offers digital banking services through its mobile app. It was founded in 2015 and is based in London, UK. Revolut provides a range of financial products and services, including a digital bank account, debit card, money transfer, currency exchange, and cryptocurrency exchange. The company aims to simplify access to financial services for people and businesses around the world, with a focus on low fees, real-time transactions, and advanced security features. Revolut has rapidly grown in popularity, especially in Ireland, and now serves over 15 million customers across Europe, the Americas, and Asia.

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Posted on 26 May 2023 by Laura Mulchrone
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Laura Mulchrone

01 567 3123
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