Ian Guider: Big three banks sitting pretty as they wait for new customers to come calling

The departure of KBC and Ulster will release a lucrative abundance of personal account and business customers for the remaining three banks to divvy up

‘AIB, Bank of Ireland and Permanent TSB are deploying hundreds of staff on the logistics of signing up the Ulster Bank customers who will have to close their various accounts in the coming months.’ Picture: Cezary Kowalski/SOPA Images

On the face of it, Ireland’s banking system endured a torrid 2021.

Two of the five banks that offer current accounts decided to leave. Several thousands of jobs were cut, mostly through voluntary redundancies. Branches across the country were shut and interest rates, for both consumers and businesses, remained the highest or close to the highest in Europe.

Look closer, however, and it becomes clear that the year could hardly have been better for the ...