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 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 attached” – 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.