Statement – Retail Bank CEO Roundtable

17 May 2022 Press Release

Central Bank of Ireland

The Central Bank met with the CEOs of the five main retail banks in Ireland today to discuss the large scale migration of customer bank accounts, and the actions necessary to ensure that this activity happens in line with customer needs and expectations. This forms part of the Central Bank’s active engagement with the banking sector as part of its supervisory programme on retail bank consolidation.

Director General, Financial Conduct, Derville Rowland, said: “We arranged the roundtable with a view to finding a practical way forward that sees the account migration exercise completed in a time bound fashion, that provides a good customer experience and continuity in the banking services people need to live their lives.

“We acknowledge the work undertaken to date by the banks and the continued efforts of staff to support customers in challenging circumstances. It is clear that a lot of work is being done. But we must also accept that the customers affected by these issues did not ask to be in this situation. They have rights which must be protected and expectations built up through their relationships and interactions with the banking system that must continue to be met as this exercise proceeds.

Following a constructive meeting, there was agreement that a strong customer focused approach needs to be delivered. In order to do so, more work is required in the following areas:

  • Better planning – the need for the sector to collaborate on a collective approach with agreed timelines and joined up planning across all institutions.
  • Customer focused arrangements –taking into account the specific circumstances a customer may face and strongly supporting them in making the move.
  • Proactive communication –so that customers can understand the banks processes, including how and when key customer facing decisions will be made.
  • System wide engagement – the need for an inclusive forum where the banks engage as a group with the other actors and stakeholders in a way that is purposeful and enables problems to be anticipated and solved.

Director General Rowland concluded: “The Irish banking system faces a challenge in ensuring this migration of bank accounts goes well. But it is a challenge that must be met so that the banking system delivers for its customers.”

The meeting was attended by the CEOs and representatives of five main retail banks and the Banking and Payments Federation of Ireland.