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Current Accounts - Ireland - December 2013

“The current account market, in particular that of RoI, suffers from a lack of competition, with Irish consumers recognising this. Reluctance to switch current account providers may have more to do with the inconvenience of the process rather than brand loyalty. Moving forward, new legislation to make account switching easier could help lead to a more dynamic and competitive market.”

– Brian O’Connor, Production Manager

Some questions answered in this report include:

  • What is the penetration level within the current account sector in Ireland?
  • Which companies are the main current account providers in Ireland?
  • What benefits and features do current account holders enjoy?
  • How likely are Irish consumers to switch current account providers?
  • How do consumers feel about banks?

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Table of contents

  1. Introduction

      • Key themes in the report
        • Data Sources
          • Definitions
            • Abbreviations
            • Executive Summary

                • The Market
                  • Current account ownership nearing saturation
                    • Figure 1: Number of current accounts owned, NI and RoI, November 2013
                  • Market factors
                    • Tentative recovery underway within Irish economies
                      • Figure 2: GDP annual percentage growth, UK, NI and RoI, 2008-16
                    • Unemployment down, but remains a challenge
                      • Figure 3: Unemployment (%) levels, RoI and NI, 2010-13
                    • No such thing as 'free banking' for Irish consumers
                      • Lack of competition in RoI market – improved competition in NI
                        • Significant increase in complaints about account providers in both RoI and NI
                          • The consumer
                            • Banking app most common benefit with current accounts
                              • Figure 4: Benefits and features included in consumers' main current accounts, RoI and NI, November 2013
                            • NI consumers far more inclined to switch than RoI consumers
                              • Figure 5: When consumers last switched their main current account, NI and RoI, November 2013
                            • High level of negativity in attitudes towards banks and banking
                              • Figure 6: Agreement with statements relating to banks and banking, NI and RoI, November 2013
                            • Scepticism about free banking, dubious about transparency
                              • Figure 7: Agreement with statements relating to charges and competition, NI and RoI, November 2013
                          • Issues in the Market

                            • What is the penetration level within the current account sector in Ireland?
                              • What companies are the main current account providers in Ireland?
                                • What benefits and features do current account holders enjoy?
                                  • How likely are Irish consumers to switch current account providers?
                                    • How do consumers feel about banks? Are consumers primarily positive or negative in their attitudes towards banks?
                                    • Trend Application

                                        • Trend: Make it Mine
                                          • Trend: Access All Areas
                                            • Mintel futures: Brand Intervention
                                            • Market Overview

                                              • Key points
                                                • Light at the end of the tunnel for Irish economies
                                                  • Figure 8: GDP annual percentage growth, UK, NI and RoI, 2008-15
                                                • Unemployment down slightly – but still cause for concern
                                                  • Figure 9: Unemployment (%) levels, RoI and NI, 2010-13
                                                • Free banking a thing of the past for Irish consumers
                                                  • Quarterly maintenance charges now commonplace for RoI consumers
                                                    • Figure 10: Quarterly fees, current accounts, RoI, November 2013
                                                  • NI consumers being hit with 'discreet' rather than upfront charges
                                                      • Figure 11: Distribution of current account revenue, by income source, 2011
                                                    • Average UK (including NI) current account yield revenue of £139 per annum
                                                      • Figure 12: Average account revenue, by type of account, UK (including NI), 2011
                                                    • Consumer campaigners targeting UK (including NI) banks' overdraft charges
                                                      • Majority of RoI consumers conscious that banking services getting more expensive
                                                        • Figure 13: Consumers' perception about increasing cost of bank services, RoI, October 2013
                                                      • Majority say they are aware of charges – estimating less than €50 a year…
                                                        • Figure 14: Estimated cost of bank services per annum, RoI, October 2013
                                                      • ...but the actual amount is far higher – indicating low-level consumer awareness
                                                        • Fees coming at a time when consumers already hard pressed for disposable income
                                                          • Figure 15: How consumers rate their current financial situation, NI and RoI, November 2013
                                                        • Evolving competitive landscape in RoI – with competition returning
                                                          • New competition may come from beyond unconventional, unexpected sources
                                                            • Almost half of all RoI consumers dissatisfied with level of competition
                                                              • Figure 16: Agreement with statement 'There is not enough competition between banks', by age, RoI and NI, November 2013
                                                            • RoI consumers less likely than NI consumers to compare competing products
                                                              • Figure 17: Whether consumers took the first product they looked at or compared several different products when making a decision on a current account, EU27, RoI and UK (incl NI), April 2012
                                                              • Figure 18: Whether consumers took the first product they looked at or compared several different products when making a decision on selected financial products, RoI and UK (incl NI), April 2012
                                                            • Complaints by UK (including NI) consumers up 34% in 2012/13
                                                              • Figure 19: Number of complaints relating to current accounts, UK (including NI), 2008-13
                                                            • Significant increase in complaints about 'packaged' current accounts…
                                                              • ...which perhaps led to introduction of new rules on packaged accounts?
                                                                • But official data do not tell the whole story of complaints
                                                                  • UK's 'worst banks' for customer service include two NI banks
                                                                    • Complaints about current accounts up 47% in RoI since 2012…
                                                                      • …but the majority of banking-related complaints not upheld
                                                                        • Figure 20: Outcome of banking-related complaints, RoI, H1 2013
                                                                      • More than a quarter of RoI consumers frustrated with current bank
                                                                        • Figure 21: Consumers' frustration with current providers, RoI, October 2013
                                                                      • So why don't frustrated consumers simply switch to another bank?
                                                                        • Figure 22: Consumer confidence that switching banks would be quick and smooth, RoI, October 2013
                                                                      • Suggesting lack of awareness that switching 'efficiency' is guaranteed
                                                                      • Strengths and Weaknesses

                                                                        • Strengths
                                                                          • Weaknesses
                                                                          • Account Ownership and Market Share

                                                                            • Key points
                                                                              • Only small minority do not have a current account
                                                                                • Figure 23: Number of current accounts owned, NI and RoI, November 2013
                                                                              • Over a third have more than one current account
                                                                                • Figure 24: Consumers with two current accounts, by marital status, NI and RoI, November 2013
                                                                              • Five 'major providers' operating in NI current account market
                                                                                • Figure 25: Financial institution used for main current account, NI, November 2013
                                                                              • Nationwide commands largest share of 'other account' market
                                                                                • Figure 26: Financial institution used for other current account, NI, November 2013
                                                                              • The 'Big Two' dominate the RoI current account market
                                                                                • Figure 27: Financial institution used for main current account, RoI, November 2013
                                                                              • AIB strongest among the young, BoI among older consumers
                                                                                • Figure 28: Financial institutions used for main current account, by age, RoI, November 2013
                                                                              • Much-needed competition in the pipeline for RoI market
                                                                              • Channels to Market

                                                                                • Key points
                                                                                  • Majority open current accounts direct, face-to-face with provider
                                                                                    • Figure 29: Channel of purchase, current account, EU27, RoI and UK (incl NI), April 2012
                                                                                  • Even in internet age, consumers not turning backs on branch banking
                                                                                    • Figure 30: Agreement with statements relating to online and branch banking, NI and RoI, November 2013
                                                                                  • Belief that branches redundant not confined to younger consumers
                                                                                    • Figure 31: Agreement with statement 'There is little need to visit a high street branch anymore', by age, NI and RoI, November 2013
                                                                                • The Consumer – Current Account Benefits

                                                                                  • Key points
                                                                                    • Banking app most common benefit with current accounts
                                                                                      • Figure 32: Benefits and features included in consumers' main current accounts, RoI and NI, November 2013
                                                                                    • NI consumers far more likely to have benefits included with current account
                                                                                      • Relatively low-level awareness among consumers of added benefits
                                                                                        • Figure 33: Consumers who do not know whether a particular benefit is included in main current account, by benefit, RoI and NI, November 2013
                                                                                      • Card protection and identity theft insurance – highly regarded benefits
                                                                                          • Figure 34: Inclusion and perceived relevance of common current account benefits, NI, November 2013
                                                                                          • Figure 35: Inclusion and perceived relevance of common current account benefits, RoI, November 2013
                                                                                      • The Consumer – Switching

                                                                                        • Key points
                                                                                          • Switching activity far higher among NI than RoI consumers
                                                                                            • Figure 36: When consumers last switched their main current account, NI and RoI, November 2013
                                                                                          • Recent switching activity in NI – but not in RoI
                                                                                            • Older consumers display most loyalty to account provider
                                                                                              • Figure 37: Consumers who have never switched their main current account provider, by age, RoI and NI, November 2013
                                                                                          • The Consumer – Attitudes towards Banks, Banking and Current Accounts

                                                                                            • Key points
                                                                                              • Irish consumers cynical and critical in views towards banks
                                                                                                • Figure 38: Agreement with statements relating to banks and banking, NI and RoI, November 2013
                                                                                              • Cynicism most acute among men, ABC1s and self-employed
                                                                                                  • Figure 39: Agreement with statement 'Banks do not act in the best interests of their customers', NI and RoI, November 2013
                                                                                                • Belief and trust in banks largely confined to older consumers
                                                                                                  • Figure 40: Agreement with statement 'Banks provide a valuable service', by age, NI and RoI, November 2013
                                                                                                  • Figure 41: Agreement with statement 'I trust my bank to give me a fair deal', by age, NI and RoI, November 2013
                                                                                                • High level of scepticism about charges and competition in RoI
                                                                                                  • Figure 42: Agreement with statements relating to charges and competition, NI and RoI, November 2013
                                                                                                • Scepticism about 'free banking' and transparency most pointed in RoI
                                                                                                  • Focus on charges and transparency perhaps related to financial literacy
                                                                                                  • Appendix

                                                                                                    • NI Toluna tables
                                                                                                      • Figure 43: How consumers rate their current financial situation, by demographics, NI, November 2013
                                                                                                      • Figure 44: Number of current accounts owned, by demographics, NI, November 2013
                                                                                                      • Figure 45: Financial institutions used for main current account, by demographics, NI, November 2013
                                                                                                      • Figure 46: Financial institutions used for main current account, by demographics, NI, November 2013 (continued)
                                                                                                      • Figure 47: Financial institutions used for main current account, by demographics, NI, November 2013 (continued)
                                                                                                      • Figure 48: Financial institutions used for other current account(s), by demographics, NI, November 2013 (continued)
                                                                                                      • Figure 49: Financial institutions used for other current account(s), by demographics, NI, November 2013 (continued)
                                                                                                      • Figure 50: Financial institutions used for other current account(s), by demographics, NI, November 2013 (continued)
                                                                                                      • Figure 51: If consumer’s main current account includes interest-free/fee-free overdraft, by demographics, NI, November 2013
                                                                                                      • Figure 52: If consumer’s main current account includes preferential rates on other products (eg loans, savings accounts, credit card), by demographics, NI, November 2013
                                                                                                      • Figure 53: If consumer’s main current account includes annual travel insurance, by demographics, NI, November 2013
                                                                                                      • Figure 54: If consumer’s main current account includes mobile phone/ gadget insurance, by demographics, NI, November 2013
                                                                                                      • Figure 55: If consumer’s main current account includes a banking app for a smartphone/tablet, by demographics, NI, November 2013
                                                                                                      • Figure 56: If consumer’s main current account includes other discounted insurance (eg home, car, life, health), by demographics, NI, November 2013
                                                                                                      • Figure 57: If consumer’s main current account includes card protection, by demographics, NI, November 2013
                                                                                                      • Figure 58: If consumer’s main current account includes identity theft protection, by demographics, NI, November 2013
                                                                                                      • Figure 59: If consumer’s main current account includes motor breakdown/ roadside assistance, by demographics, NI, November 2013
                                                                                                      • Figure 60: If consumer’s main current account includes commission-free cash withdrawals abroad, by demographics, NI, November 2013
                                                                                                      • Figure 61: If consumer’s main current account includes retail or leisure discounts and vouchers, by demographics, NI, November 2013
                                                                                                      • Figure 62: When consumers last switched their main current account, by demographics, NI, November 2013
                                                                                                      • Figure 63: Agreement with statements relating to current accounts and banking, by demographics, NI, November 2013
                                                                                                      • Figure 64: Agreement with statements relating to current accounts and banking, by demographics, NI, November 2013 (continued)
                                                                                                      • Figure 65: Agreement with statements relating to current accounts and banking, by demographics, NI, November 2013 (continued)
                                                                                                    • RoI Toluna tables
                                                                                                      • Figure 66: How consumers rate their current financial situation, by demographics, RoI, November 2013
                                                                                                      • Figure 67: Number of current accounts owned, by demographics, RoI, November 2013
                                                                                                      • Figure 68: Financial institutions used for main current account, by demographics, RoI, November 2013
                                                                                                      • Figure 69: Financial institutions used for main current account, by demographics, RoI, November 2013 (continued)
                                                                                                      • Figure 70: Financial institutions used for main current account, by demographics, RoI, November 2013 (continued)
                                                                                                      • Figure 71: Financial institutions used for other current account(s), by demographics, RoI, November 2013 (continued)
                                                                                                      • Figure 72: Financial institutions used for other current account(s), by demographics, RoI, November 2013 (continued)
                                                                                                      • Figure 73: Financial institutions used for other current account(s), by demographics, RoI, November 2013 (continued)
                                                                                                      • Figure 74: If consumer’s main current account includes interest-free/fee-free overdraft, by demographics, RoI, November 2013
                                                                                                      • Figure 75: If consumer’s main current account includes preferential rates on other products (eg loans, savings accounts, credit card), by demographics, RoI, November 2013
                                                                                                      • Figure 76: If consumer’s main current account includes annual travel insurance, by demographics, RoI, November 2013
                                                                                                      • Figure 77: If consumer’s main current account includes mobile phone/ gadget insurance, by demographics, RoI, November 2013
                                                                                                      • Figure 78: If consumer’s main current account includes a banking app for a smartphone/tablet, by demographics, RoI, November 2013
                                                                                                      • Figure 79: If consumer’s main current account includes other discounted insurance (eg home, car, life, health), by demographics, RoI, November 2013
                                                                                                      • Figure 80: If consumer’s main current account includes card protection, by demographics, RoI, November 2013
                                                                                                      • Figure 81: If consumer’s main current account includes identity theft protection, by demographics, RoI, November 2013
                                                                                                      • Figure 82: If consumer’s main current account includes motor breakdown/ roadside assistance, by demographics, RoI, November 2013
                                                                                                      • Figure 83: If consumer’s main current account includes commission-free cash withdrawals abroad, by demographics, RoI, November 2013
                                                                                                      • Figure 84: If consumer’s main current account includes retail or leisure discounts and vouchers, by demographics, RoI, November 2013
                                                                                                      • Figure 85: When consumers last switched their main current account, by demographics, RoI, November 2013
                                                                                                      • Figure 86: Agreement with statements relating to current accounts and banking, by demographics, RoI, November 2013
                                                                                                      • Figure 87: Agreement with statements relating to current accounts and banking, by demographics, RoI, November 2013 (continued)
                                                                                                      • Figure 88: Agreement with statements relating to current accounts and banking, by demographics, RoI, November 2013 (continued)

                                                                                                  Companies Covered

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

                                                                                                  Current Accounts - Ireland - December 2013

                                                                                                  £1,095.00 (Excl.Tax)