KBC Bank Ireland has announced that it has decided to extend the notice period for closing current accounts from 90 days to six months.
The move aligns it with Ulster Bank, which gives customers six months to move their accounts, and comes days after the regulator told banks they needed to do more to ensure customers who switch are supported.
KBC said it will start sending the first batch of account closure notification letters in June and those customers will have six months to close their accounts.
Customer letters will be issued on a rolling basis through the rest of this year and into early 2023, the bank added.
KBC said it would provide reminders to customers during this time through a combination of letters, emails and text messages.
“It is the bank’s intention that the closure of all accounts be managed in a careful and efficient manner by keeping customers informed throughout,” he said.
KBC Bank Ireland said it understood the crucial importance of a current account in the daily financial lives of its customers.
“We understand that switching banks involves a lot of time and effort on the part of customers and we intend to support them through this process,” he added.
He also said he was fully aware of the apprehension around the volume of customers who will be looking to open new current accounts and the challenge this poses to the market.
“We are determined to take responsibility and minimize any inconvenience to our customers as much as possible,” he said.
On Wednesday, the Central Bank told lenders here they needed to do more to ensure customers of Ulster Bank and KBC Bank Ireland would be looked after when the two banks left the country.
About 900,000 retail accounts are expected to be transferred over the next year by customers of the two banks.
However, there are growing concerns that the sector is not sufficiently prepared to cope with the huge flow of customers, amid long waiting times for in-branch appointments and to access contact centers. calls.
KBC Bank has around 130,000 current accounts that are active or have a balance and it estimates that 52,000 of these customers should open a new account or switch to a new provider.
97% of active KBC current account customers carry out their banking transactions primarily digitally with KBC via its online banking or mobile app.
The Belgian bank announced last year that it was leaving the Irish market.