Urgent action needed as 23,000 firms still need to switch bank

As KBC and Ulster Bank exit the market, thousands of SMEs risk being marooned.

Small to medium size businesses are being urged to take action on moving bank account and establishing new banking arrangements as the latest Central Bank figures show some 23,000 main business current accounts remained opened at the end of October.

At roundtable on the matter hosted by Banking & Payments Federation Ireland (BPFI) and involving ISME, SFA and Chambers Ireland, BPFI launched its Top Tips for Businesses Moving Bank Account which highlights the key actions that businesses need to take to help make the process of moving account as straightforward as possible.

“We are urging businesses who have yet to take action to do so as soon as possible and engage with their new banking provider”

BPFI’s Top Tips for Business Customers Moving Bank Account is available here with BPFI comprehensive Guide to Moving Your Business Account available here

The time to act is now

“There has been significant progress made by the industry in transferring hundreds of thousands of customer accounts over the course of the year, including more than 63,000 business current accounts,” said BPFI CEO Brian Hayes.

“There is undoubtedly still a lot of work to be done, especially in the migration of SME customers. Last week’s figures from the Central Bank of Ireland show that while the number of primary accounts held by SMEs and other business customers fell by 20% between the start of July and the end of October, some 23,000 main business current accounts were still open at the end of October.

“That is why today BPFI has brought together key business bodies and stakeholders to discuss how we can all step up our efforts to ensure businesses and in particular smaller and micro businesses are fully supported through the migration journey.” 

“Today we are urging businesses who have yet to take action to do so as soon as possible and engage with their new banking provider, particularly given the account transfer process can be a longer and more complex process for business customers than it is for personal customers.

“While some businesses may just require a straightforward account with an online business banking capability and perhaps a deposit account, more businesses will require cash management facilities or payment facilities. Of particular importance for a large portion of businesses is to ensure that credit facilities such as overdrafts, loans or credit cards are put in place, as these do not automatically transfer to a new provider and may require some time to establish,” Hayes said.

John Kennedy
Award-winning ThinkBusiness.ie editor John Kennedy is one of Ireland's most experienced business and technology journalists.