Ulster Bank is due to start writing to its 75,000 credit card customers next month giving them six months’ notice to find a new supplier if they need one.
They will also need to move their recurring transactions, pay the outstanding balance and close their Ulster Bank credit card account.
They will also be informed that they must have sufficient funds to pay the €30 stamp duty which will be applied when closing the account.
The bank will warn them that their cards will stop working once this deadline expires in March 2023.
This is the latest development in the bank’s liquidation and gradual exit from the Irish market.
The NatWest-owned lender is also undertaking a new television, radio and print campaign to encourage its customers to take action to move and/or close their accounts.
Ulster Bank began writing to holders of its 900,000 current and deposit accounts in April warning them they had six months to switch to a new bank.
The first batch of customers to receive their notice letters is now halfway through this notice period.
“For most customers, six months should be more than enough time to get up and running with their new checking account,” the bank said in a statement.
“Some customers may have individual circumstances that mean they need additional help – we continue to have conversations with customers who may fall into this category now and over the past few months, so they are encouraged and supported as much as possible to act and ensure continuity of service,” he added.
The bank said it held a meeting today with representatives of the financial sector to inform them of the plan to require the closure of credit card accounts and plans to hold further meetings with other stakeholders.
“Over the past few months, Ulster Bank has proactively reached out to customers who may be having difficulty repaying their balance in full within the notice period to offer assistance and remind them of ongoing activity to close accounts as part of Ulster Bank’s phased withdrawal,” the bank said. .
“Ulster Bank recognizes that some customers may not be able to settle their balance within six months and will work with customers on a case-by-case basis for individual plans.”
The bank added that customers who need help paying off their balance, are in financial difficulty or are in a vulnerable situation can contact the bank’s credit card team.
Credit card customers in default will not be part of the process as the bank engages with them separately.
Around 46% of the bank’s customers clear their balance each month, with 29% maintaining very low balances below €500, with an average of €90.
19% have balances between €500 and €3,000 and 6% have monthly balances over €3,000.
According to the Banking and Payments Federation Ireland, some 297,000 personal current accounts were opened this year up to July 8.
The Central Bank is monitoring the process of transitioning customers from the two outgoing banks, Ulster Bank and KBC Bank Ireland, to new providers, to ensure customer rights are protected.
“Since the beginning of this year, many customers have taken action on their current or deposit accounts and I want to thank them for their habit and for taking action as we withdraw, especially before the notice period. served on them,” Ulster said. Bank CEO, Jane Howard.
“In addition to this, we understand that some customers will keep their Ulster Bank accounts open for some time after opening their new account.”
“If a customer needs further assistance, I strongly encourage them to contact us as soon as possible, either in branch or by phone.”