Account Migration Statistics

Ulster Bank and KBC Bank announced their intentions to leave the Irish market in 2021. As a result, customers who had current and deposit accounts at these institutions and continue to need access to these types of accounts will therefore need to seek alternative banking arrangements. The Central Bank of Ireland established a bespoke statistical collection on account migration from the two exiting banks, and the three largest remaining retail banks; Allied Irish Banks, Bank of Ireland, and Permanent TSB. The collection monitors the migration activity of all customers, including households and small and medium enterprises (SME), as well as any other counterparty not included in these two groups.

Key Points - Updated 16 March 2023

  • A total of 185,176 current and deposit accounts were closed in Ulster Bank and KBC Bank in four weeks to end-February1. This represented an increase of 164 per cent when compared with the four week period to end-January. The large increase in February was predominantly driven by an acceleration in bank initiated closures, in addition to the scheduled transfer of KBC Bank deposit accounts to Bank of Ireland2.
  • This brings the total number of accounts closed since the beginning of 2022 at these two banks to 881,850. Of these, 454,074 were current accounts, the remainder were deposit accounts.
  • As at end-February, 227,694 current accounts remained open in Ulster Bank and KBC Bank, of which 80,335 were deemed by the banks as the customer’s ‘primary’ account3. In total, 80 per cent of current accounts that were open at the beginning of 2022 were either closed or inactive as at end-February 2023.
  • A total of 104,847 accounts were opened in the four weeks to end-February, an increase of 63 per cent when compared with the corresponding period to end-January. In total, 1,107,083 current and deposit accounts were opened across the three remaining retail banks since the beginning 2022.
  • A full breakdown of the data is available in ‘Table A.23 Account Migration Statistics’ below.
  • We have also published an update on our work in relation to customer support phone lines, following the review which required the retail banks to put new measures and resources in place to address the need for improvements on wait times for customer support phone lines.

[1] Account closures initiated by the leaving institutions without the involvement of customers began in November 2022, such closures are included in the account closure data. ‘End-February’ in this release refers to dates up to and including 03/03/2023.

[2] KBC deposit accounts were automatically transferred to Bank of Ireland under the terms of their purchase agreement and included in the closure figures for the week to 24/02/2023.

[3] ‘Primary accounts’ are those that show evidence of being the customer’s main bank account. Such evidence may include a considerable number of customer-initiated transactions and payments received in recent months. This is a designation made by the reporting institutions, according to their own definitions.


Summary Charts

Chart 1: Number of Accounts Closed by Week

Number of Accounts Closed by Week 

 Chart 2: Number of Current Accounts Still Open by Activity Level 

Number of Current Accounts Still Open by Activity Level 
 Chart 3: Number of Accounts Opened (Year to Date)

Cumulative Number of Accounts Opened (Year to Date)

Account Migration Statistical Release | pdf 653 KB Table A.23 Account Migration Statistics | xls 34 KB