Opening an Account
If you move to Ireland from overseas you will not get too far without an Irish bank account. Unless your employer pays you by cash- you will need a bank account within a month or two. To open a bank account most banks usually require an ID, such as your passport, and a proof of your address in Ireland – normally a utility bill. Proof of address can also be a bank statement from any previous bank account you have had. This could take up to 2 months to get – so be prepared for a delay.
For current accounts were very common in Ireland – but 2005 saw many banks dropping most of their account charges. The Ulster Bank , Bank Of Ireland , Permanent TSB and NIB all have current accounts with no charge. Some have “strings attcahed” – like Bank of Ireland need a minimum balance of 500 euro and 3 transactions per month online or by telephone. Up until recently banks would charge a flat fee per quarter and transaction charges too – typically 20 to 30 cents a time. An average account could run up charges of between €60 and €120 a year. You were even charged when you use a cash machine. Banking is not completely free in Ireland – you still have to pay the 15 cent government tax on each cheque you write and a 40 euro stamp duty on credit cards.
In Ireland there are Laser cards – issued by all the major banks (there is an annual government tax of €20 for each card).
Internet banking is common in Ireland – with AIB , Ulster Bank , Permanent TSB and Bank of Ireland all providing internet banking facilities. Even if you are going to use online banking – try and open an account with a bank that has a local branch. As good as internet banking is – there will always be a need to make visits to the bank now and then to get cash or deposit cash. If you are not with a “fee free” bank – use cashback in shops on your Laser (debit) card – it will save you being charged at an ATM.