Central Bank needs to clarify if Ulster Bank have met the criteria necessary to allow it to close active accounts

10 November 2022
  • Forced rebanking has no place in Irish banking 

Ged Nash TD, Labour Party Finance Spokesperson has called on the Central Bank to clarify if Ulster Bank has met the criteria set out in the Central Banks Consumer Protection Code on freezing and closing accounts.

Ulster Bank are expected to begin freezing thousands of active accounts from tomorrow.

Commenting on the current position Deputy Nash said:

“The Labour Party has consistently expressed concern about the arbitrary timelines set down by Ulster Bank for closure. Six months is not enough time to close a 200-year-old institution.

“The decision by Ulster Bank to press ahead and begin to close active current accounts tomorrow is very worrying. Thousands of people will be denied access to their own money through no fault of their own. Bills may well go unpaid and the comments from Insurance Ireland on the effects of motor insurance or house insurance not being paid should send a strong signal to the Central Bank to urgently intervene to block Ulster Bank from taking this action.

The Consumer Protection Code which sets out the threshold that Ulster bank must meet is very clear. Ulster Bank must “ensure all outstanding business is properly completed prior to the … cessation of operations”.

“The Central Bank needs to state clearly how they comprehended that this threshold has been met. If Ulster Bank are breaching the Consumer Code, the Regulator has an obligation to immediate prevent Ulster Bank from forcibly rebanking their customers.

“Clarity is required from the Central Bank and common sense and decency is required from Ulster Bank. It is unconscionable to think that people will be denied access to their own money as we enter the Christmas period.”

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