With Ulster Bank and KBC planning to leave the Irish market, there are a range of options available for those customers looking to switch their savings on deposit to savings and investment products.
In 2021, Ulster Bank Ireland announced it would commence a phased withdrawal from the Republic of Ireland over the coming years. Announcing its plans to exit the Irish market, Ulster Bank Chief Executive Officer, Jane Howard said there would be no immediate change to customers as changes will happen over the coming years. “Ulster Bank will continue to offer a full banking service in our branches, online and through normal channels for existing and new customers for the foreseeable future,” she said.
Since then, Permanent TSB announced that they had signed a memorandum of understanding with Ulster Bank-owner Nat West to acquire non-tracker mortgages, SME loans and Ulster Bank branches.
Following on from the news that Ulster Bank is to exit the Irish market, KBC informed its customers that Bank of Ireland would acquire KBC Bank Ireland’s performing loan assets (including performing mortgages, commercial and consumer loans), deposits and a small number of non-performing mortgages. Ultimately, this means that KBC Group will withdrawal from the Irish market too.
Although both banks have said that customers can continue to do their usual banking with them and will be notified well in advance when changes to their accounts are due to happen, customers may be left wondering what the next steps are for them.
Switching from your bank
If you have money on deposit with either Ulster Bank or KBC, now might be a good time to consider switching and saving elsewhere. Wouldn’t it make sense to be in control of this and make the move yourself in good time and to a saving and investment provider of your choice?
Moving your Ulster Bank or KBC investment now rather than later means you will have time to consider your choices and find an alternative that suits you and your financial needs Alternatives to bank deposit accounts Given that Ulster Bank and KBC are exiting the Irish market, it’s timely to look at other alternatives. If you have a large amount of money on deposit making very little interest, now might be the right time to consider investing in funds. Historically, saving on deposit in banks has often been considered a safe option, however it also means that your return on investment is often quite low. While savings on deposit will give you a predictable, low rate of interest, you only get a little extra on top of what you put in. But when you invest your money in a fund, that little extra on top, can become a lot extra. Funds aim to grow your savings faster than interest rates offered by regular savings on deposit. Funds can be riskier investments to money on deposit in banks. Your investment in a fund could go down as well as up. But they do have the potential of higher returns. Cash is considered safe because the amount of money in your bank deposit will never fall. However, the value of your money on a bank deposit can fall. This happens when inflation is high. High inflation means the price of goods increase, for example, your weekly shop costs more due to the price of milk, bread and cereal increasing. If you have money saved in a bank and have it ear marked for a future purpose, high inflation could mean that when you go to spend the money, the item that you are purchasing may be more expensive than what you put aside for it. Therefore, investing in funds is a common strategy used to ensure your money is not eroded by inflation. Grow your savings over time You can choose the risk level of your funds. You can find funds with steady consistent growth, and funds that offer more potential for higher long-term gains. The higher the potential for growth, the riskier the fund, and your investment could go up or down.
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