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Customers changing banks need guarantee of service over Christmas period – Byrne

4th November 2022 - Senator Maria Byrne

Banks must step up to the mark to assist customers trying to switch providers before the Christmas period, a Fine Gael Senator has said.

Fine Gael Seanad Spokesperson for Finance, Senator Maria Byrne, referenced a wave of new data from the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC) which revealed that 60% of Ulster Bank and KBC customers reported issues when changing banks.

Senator Byrne said, “We’re approaching the Christmas period and the last thing anyone needs is banking issues. Banks must do more to facilitate those leaving the market to avoid inaccessibility to services during this critical period.

“The CCPC data recorded transferring direct debits and payments as the most prominent issue, with 29% citing this problem.

“Earlier this year, I highlighted the need for additional supports, particularly for older and vulnerable people.

“10% of people continue to encounter challenges when trying to access in-person support, with many abandoning the process due to time constraints. I would further encourage consumers to take action by getting in touch with their banks, reviewing existing payments and gathering all relevant documentation.

“Customers need a guarantee of continuity of service over Christmas when people will be spending more.

“Although Banking and Payments Federation Ireland (BPFI) announced dedicated phonelines last month, the same problems are persisting. An enhanced information campaign to heighten awareness is more necessary than ever,” concluded Senator Byrne.

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