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Current Accounts - Ireland - August 2015

“The current account market in Ireland has weathered the economic recession and emerged relatively unscathed. Although the recession years were lost ones in terms of growth, the return to economic growth both in NI and RoI will almost certainly bring about a return to growth within the current account market.”
– Brian O’Connor, Senior Consumer Analyst

  • What are the current and potential current account ownership levels?
  • Are Irish consumers inclined to switch current account provider?
  • What are consumers’ general attitudes towards current accounts?

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Table of contents

  1. Introduction

      • Key themes in the report
        • Data sources
          • Consumer research
            • Market size rationale
              • Definitions
                • Abbreviations
                • Executive Summary

                    • The market
                      • Figure 1: Number of active current accounts, NI and RoI, 2010-15
                    • Forecast
                      • Figure 2: Indexed total number of active current accounts, NI and RoI, 2010-20
                    • Market factors
                      • Economic recovery to create increased demand for current accounts
                        • Cost of current accounts increasing for RoI consumers
                          • Despite low interest rate environment, interest on overdrafts remains high
                            • Switching account provider getting easier for NI consumers, not for RoI consumers
                              • More complaints about NI current account providers, fewer about RoI providers
                                • The consumer
                                  • Overwhelming majority of Irish consumers have a current account
                                    • Figure 3: Number of current accounts owned by consumers, NI and RoI, June 2015
                                  • More competition in NI market than in RoI market
                                    • Figure 4: Bank or financial institution where main current account is held, NI and RoI, June 2015
                                  • Switching is a relatively rare occurrence among NI and RoI consumers
                                    • Figure 5: If and when consumers have switched their main current account to a different provider, NI and RoI, June 2015
                                  • New accounts opened by 26% of NI, 24% of RoI consumers in last two years
                                    • Figure 6: If consumers have opened additional current accounts in the last two years, NI and RoI, June 2015
                                  • New accounts opened to better manage personal finances
                                    • Figure 7: Factors that prompted consumers to open a new current account in the last two years, NI and RoI, June 2015
                                  • Consumers want basic accounts, and perceive providers to be largely the same
                                    • Figure 8: Agreement with statements relating to current accounts and banking, NI and RoI, June 2015
                                  • Debit cards the most widely-owned plastic card among Irish consumers
                                    • Figure 9: Ownership of debit cards, NI and RoI, June 2015
                                  • What we think
                                  • Issues and Insights

                                    • What are the current and potential current account ownership levels?
                                      • The facts
                                        • The implications
                                          • Are Irish consumers inclined to switch current account provider?
                                            • The facts
                                              • The implications
                                                • What are consumers’ general attitudes towards current accounts?
                                                  • The facts
                                                    • The implications
                                                    • Market Overview

                                                      • Key points
                                                        • Economic growth, activity and prospects all on the up
                                                          • Figure 10: GDP growth projections, NI, UK & RoI, 2013-16
                                                          • Figure 11: Average annual employment, % change, actual, forecast and projected, NI and RoI, 2014-16
                                                          • Figure 12: Unemployment rate, as % of labour force, RoI, 2012-16
                                                        • Bank charges mounting for RoI consumers, limiting account ownership
                                                          • Figure 13: Comparison of bank charges if balance maintained above relevant minimum*, RoI, July 2015
                                                          • Figure 14: Comparison of bank charges*, RoI, July 2015
                                                        • Cost of overdrafts increasing for consumers in NI and RoI
                                                          • Figure 15: Average overdraft interest rate and ECB base rate, RoI, 2007-15*
                                                        • Switching provider is easy for NI consumers, not so much in RoI
                                                          • Complaints about current accounts up in UK (including NI), down in RoI
                                                            • Figure 16: Number of complaints about current accounts submitted to the FOS, 2012-15
                                                            • Figure 17: Complaints received by FOS about current accounts, by category, 2014/2015
                                                          • Overall complaints down 42% in RoI, complaints about accounts down 33% in 2014
                                                            • Figure 18: Complaints received by the Financial Ombudsman (Ireland), RoI, 2006-14
                                                            • Figure 19: Complaints received about banking by the Financial Ombudsman (Ireland), RoI, 2011-14
                                                            • Figure 20: Complaints received about banking by the Financial Ombudsman (Ireland), by category, RoI, 2014
                                                            • Figure 21: Complaints received about accounts by the Financial Ombudsman (Ireland), by category, RoI, 2011-14
                                                        • Market Size and Forecast

                                                          • Key points
                                                            • Over 7 million active current accounts in Ireland in 2015
                                                              • Figure 22: Total number of active current accounts, IoI, RoI and NI, 2010-20
                                                            • 2015 to be the turning point for the Irish current account market
                                                              • Figure 23: Indexed total number of active current accounts, NI and RoI, 2010-20
                                                            • Emigration still exceeding immigration in RoI
                                                              • Figure 24: Immigration and emigration, 000s, RoI, 2006-15*
                                                            • NI recorded net inward migration for first time since 2010
                                                              • Figure 25: Net migration, NI, 1999-2014*
                                                          • Strengths and Weaknesses

                                                            • Strengths
                                                              • Weaknesses
                                                              • Companies and Innovations

                                                                • Key points
                                                                  • Snap to Switch
                                                                    • Every little apps
                                                                      • Company profiles
                                                                        • Allied Irish Bank/First Trust
                                                                            • Figure 26: AIB current accounts, RoI, 2015
                                                                            • Figure 27: First Trust current accounts, NI, 2015
                                                                          • Bank of Ireland
                                                                              • Figure 28: Bank of Ireland current accounts, NI, 2015
                                                                              • Figure 29: Bank of Ireland current accounts, RoI, 2015
                                                                            • Danske Bank
                                                                                • Figure 30: Danske Bank current accounts, NI, 2015
                                                                              • Halifax
                                                                                  • Figure 31: Halifax current accounts, NI, 2015
                                                                                • HSBC
                                                                                    • Figure 32: HSBC current accounts, NI, 2015
                                                                                  • KBC Bank
                                                                                      • Figure 33: KBC Banks current accounts, RoI, 2015
                                                                                    • Nationwide
                                                                                        • Figure 34: Nationwide current accounts, NI, 2015
                                                                                      • Permanent TSB
                                                                                          • Figure 35: Permanent TSB current accounts, NI, 2015
                                                                                        • Santander
                                                                                            • Figure 36: Santander current accounts, NI, 2015
                                                                                          • Tesco Bank
                                                                                              • Figure 37: Tesco current accounts, RoI, 2015
                                                                                            • Ulster Bank
                                                                                                • Figure 38: Ulster Bank current accounts, NI, 2015
                                                                                                • Figure 39: Ulster Bank current accounts, RoI, 2015
                                                                                            • The Consumer – Ownership of Current Accounts

                                                                                              • Key points
                                                                                                • Vast majority of Irish consumers have a current account
                                                                                                  • Figure 40: Number of current accounts owned by consumers, NI and RoI, June 2015
                                                                                                • More than a third of consumers have multiple accounts
                                                                                                  • Multiple account ownership highest among self-employed consumers
                                                                                                    • Figure 41: Consumers with three or more current accounts, by work status, NI and RoI, June 2015
                                                                                                  • ABC1s more inclined than C2DEFs to have multiple accounts
                                                                                                    • Figure 42: Consumers with two current accounts, by social class, NI and RoI, June 2015
                                                                                                • The Consumer – Providers of Current Accounts

                                                                                                  • Key points
                                                                                                    • Four providers dominate RoI market; more competition in NI
                                                                                                      • Figure 43: Bank or financial institution where main current account is held, NI and RoI, June 2015
                                                                                                    • Less dominance in other/secondary account market in RoI
                                                                                                        • Figure 44: Bank or financial institution where other and main current account is held, RoI, June 2015
                                                                                                      • Broad correlation between ‘main’ and ‘other’ markets in NI
                                                                                                        • Figure 45: Bank or financial institution where main and secondary/other current account is held, NI, June 2015
                                                                                                    • The Consumer – Frequency of Switching

                                                                                                      • Key points
                                                                                                        • Most consumers have never switched their main provider
                                                                                                          • Figure 46: If and when consumers have switched their main current account to a different provider, NI and RoI, June 2015
                                                                                                        • Churn highest among men and older consumers
                                                                                                          • Figure 47: Consumers who have never switched main current account provider, by gender and age, NI and RoI, June 2015
                                                                                                        • Consumers aged 45+ most likely to have switched 5+ years ago
                                                                                                          • Figure 48: Consumers who have switched their main current account provider more than 5 years ago, NI and RoI, June 2015
                                                                                                      • The Consumer – New Current Accounts

                                                                                                        • Key points
                                                                                                          • A quarter of consumers have opened new account in last two years
                                                                                                            • Figure 49: If consumers have opened additional current accounts in the last two years, NI and RoI, June 2015
                                                                                                          • Consumers and 18-24 and students most likely to have opened a new account
                                                                                                            • Figure 50: Consumers who have opened an additional current account in the last two years, by age, NI and RoI, June 2015
                                                                                                            • Figure 51: Consumers who have opened an additional current account in the last two years, by work status, NI and RoI, June 2015
                                                                                                          • New accounts opened to better manage personal finances
                                                                                                            • Figure 52: Factors that prompted consumers to open a new current account in the last two years, NI and RoI, June 2015
                                                                                                          • Customer service and tech advancement reasonably influential
                                                                                                            • Figure 53: Consumer who opened a new current account in the last two years because of customer service and website/ app, NI and RoI, June 2015
                                                                                                          • NI consumers respond to perks, benefits, rewards and incentives
                                                                                                          • The Consumer – Attitudes towards Current Accounts

                                                                                                            • Key points
                                                                                                              • Basic, no-frills account appeals to four in 10 consumers
                                                                                                                • Figure 54: Agreement with statements relating to current accounts and banking, NI and RoI, June 2015
                                                                                                              • Men and consumers aged 45+ most content with basic current account
                                                                                                                • Figure 55: Agreement with statement, ‘I am happy for my current account to just do the basics without offering me any additional extras’, by gender and age, RoI & NI, June 2015
                                                                                                              • Significant minority see little difference between providers
                                                                                                                  • Figure 56: Agreement with statement, ‘All current account providers are pretty much the same as each other (eg in terms of customer service, product offerings etc), by gender and age, NI & RoI, June 2015
                                                                                                                • Cash incentives not the best way to encourage switching
                                                                                                                    • Figure 57: Agreement with the statement, ‘I do not think it is worth moving my current account to a different provider for a one-off cash incentive’, by age and social class, NI and RoI, June 2015
                                                                                                                  • But flexible overdraft arrangement would entice around one in five to switch
                                                                                                                    • Figure 58: Agreement with statement, ‘A flexible overdraft limit (eg can be changed with reduced/no fee) would encourage me to switch my main current account provider’, by gender, age and social class, NI and RoI, June 2015
                                                                                                                  • Benefits comparison service would be popular among consumers
                                                                                                                      • Figure 59: Agreement with statement, ‘I would be interested in a service that lets me compare all the benefits offered by different current accounts’, by age and social class, NI and RoI, June 2015
                                                                                                                    • ... but no willingness to share personal data to get more personalised service
                                                                                                                      • Significant minority would use an online-only account
                                                                                                                        • Figure 60: Agreement with the statement, ‘I would be happy to use an online only current account (ie no access to branches) if there was a reward for doing so, by gender, age and social class, NI and RoI, June 2015
                                                                                                                      • Additional benefits irrelevant to one in three NI and one in four RoI consumers
                                                                                                                          • Figure 61: Agreement with statement, ‘Many of the additional benefits included on packaged or premium accounts are not relevant to me (eg travel insurance, car breakdown cover)’, by gender and social class, NI and RoI, June 2015
                                                                                                                        • ... which is perhaps why so few are willing to pay a monthly fee for added benefits
                                                                                                                            • Figure 62: Agreement with statement, ‘I would be prepared to pay a monthly fee for a current account with added benefits (eg cash reward, event tickets), by gender and social class, NI and RoI, June 2015
                                                                                                                        • The Consumer – Ownership of Payment Cards

                                                                                                                          • Key points
                                                                                                                            • Majority have a debit card, making it most popular payment card
                                                                                                                              • Figure 63: Ownership of debit cards, NI and RoI, June 2015
                                                                                                                            • Slight decline in multiple debit card ownership over past year in RoI
                                                                                                                              • Ownership of two debit cards highest among ABC1s in NI and RoI
                                                                                                                                • Figure 64: Ownership of two debit cards, by social class, NI and RoI, June 2015
                                                                                                                              • Two thirds of NI and half of RoI consumers have a credit card
                                                                                                                                • Figure 65: Ownership of credit cards, NI and RoI, June 2015
                                                                                                                              • Half of RoI and a third of NI consumers do not have a credit card
                                                                                                                                • Figure 66: Consumers who do not have a credit card, by gender and age, NI and RoI, June 2015
                                                                                                                              • Pre-paid cards owned by 14% in RoI, 8% in NI
                                                                                                                                • Figure 67: Ownership of prepaid cards, NI and RoI, June 2015
                                                                                                                              • Only around one in 20 Irish consumers have a charge card
                                                                                                                                • Figure 68: Ownership of charge cards, NI and RoI, June 2015
                                                                                                                            • Appendix

                                                                                                                              • NI Toluna data
                                                                                                                                • Figure 69: Number of current accounts owned by consumers, by demographics, NI, June 2015
                                                                                                                                • Figure 70: Bank or financial institution where main current account is held, by demographics, NI, June 2015
                                                                                                                                • Figure 71: Bank or financial institution where main current account is held, by demographics, NI, June 2015 (Continued)
                                                                                                                                • Figure 72: Bank or financial institution where other current accounts are held, by demographics, NI, June 2015
                                                                                                                                • Figure 73: Bank or financial institution where other current accounts are held, by demographics, NI, June 2015 (Continued)
                                                                                                                                • Figure 74: Bank or financial institution where other current accounts are held, by demographics, NI, June 2015 (Continued)
                                                                                                                                • Figure 75: If and when consumers have switched their main current account to a different provider, by demographics, NI, June 2015
                                                                                                                                • Figure 76: If consumers have opened additional current accounts in the last two years, by demographics, NI, June 2015
                                                                                                                                • Figure 77: Factors that prompted consumers to open a new current account in the last two years, by demographics, NI, June 2015
                                                                                                                                • Figure 78: Factors that prompted consumers to open a new current account in the last two years, by demographics, NI, June 2015 (continued)
                                                                                                                                • Figure 79: Factors that prompted consumers to open a new current account in the last two years, by demographics, NI, June 2015 (continued)
                                                                                                                                • Figure 80: Agreement with statements relating to current accounts and banking, by demographics, NI, June 2015
                                                                                                                                • Figure 81: Agreement with statements relating to current accounts and banking, by demographics, NI, June 2015 (continued)
                                                                                                                                • Figure 82: Ownership of credit cards, by demographics, NI, June 2015
                                                                                                                                • Figure 83: Ownership of debit cards, by demographics, NI, June 2015
                                                                                                                                • Figure 84: Ownership of charge cards, by demographics, NI, June 2015
                                                                                                                                • Figure 85: Ownership of prepaid cards, by demographics, NI, June 2015
                                                                                                                              • RoI Toluna data
                                                                                                                                • Figure 86: Number of current accounts owned by consumers, by demographics, RoI, June 2015
                                                                                                                                • Figure 87: Bank or financial institution where main current account is held, by demographics, RoI, June 2015
                                                                                                                                • Figure 88: Bank or financial institution where main current account is held, by demographics, RoI, June 2015 (Continued)
                                                                                                                                • Figure 89: Bank or financial institution where other current accounts are held, by demographics, RoI, June 2015
                                                                                                                                • Figure 90: Bank or financial institution where other current accounts are held, by demographics, RoI, June 2015 (Continued)
                                                                                                                                • Figure 91: Bank or financial institution where other current accounts are held, by demographics, RoI, June 2015 (Continued)
                                                                                                                                • Figure 92: If and when consumers have switched their main current account to a different provider, by demographics, RoI, June 2015
                                                                                                                                • Figure 93: If consumers have opened additional current accounts in the last two years, by demographics, RoI, June 2015
                                                                                                                                • Figure 94: Factors that prompted consumers to open a new current account in the last two years, by demographics, RoI, June 2015
                                                                                                                                • Figure 95: Factors that prompted consumers to open a new current account in the last two years, by demographics, RoI, June 2015 (continued)
                                                                                                                                • Figure 96: Factors that prompted consumers to open a new current account in the last two years, by demographics, RoI, June 2015 (continued)
                                                                                                                                • Figure 97: Agreement with statements relating to current accounts and banking, by demographics, RoI, June 2015
                                                                                                                                • Figure 98: Agreement with statements relating to current accounts and banking, by demographics, RoI, June 2015 (continued)
                                                                                                                                • Figure 99: Ownership of credit cards, by demographics, RoI, June 2015
                                                                                                                                • Figure 100: Ownership of debit cards, by demographics, RoI, June 2015
                                                                                                                                • Figure 101: Ownership of charge cards, by demographics, RoI, June 2015
                                                                                                                                • Figure 102: Ownership of prepaid cards, by demographics, RoI, June 2015

                                                                                                                            Companies Covered

                                                                                                                            To learn more about the companies covered in this report please contact us.

                                                                                                                            Current Accounts - Ireland - August 2015

                                                                                                                            £1,095.00 (Excl.Tax)