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Current Accounts - Ireland - October 2018

"Although there appears to be a high level of inertia when it comes to how consumers manage their current accounts – for instance, switching activity is rare and infrequent – there has nonetheless been a fairly dramatic change in terms of how consumers interact with their current account. Having emerged from the periphery only around a decade or so ago, the online channel is now the main channel for most consumers, while mobile banking is emerging as the preferred channel for a range of day-to-day banking activities."
– Brian O’Connor, Senior Consumer Analyst

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Table of contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • Issues covered in this Report
        • Definitions
        • Executive Summary

            • The market
              • Increase of 125,000 current accounts between 2017 and 2018
                • Figure 1: Total number of active current accounts, actual, estimated, forecast and projected, IoI, RoI and NI, 2013-18
              • Coming five years to see growth of between 5% and 10%
                • Figure 2: Index of total number of active current accounts, actual, estimated, forecast and projected, RoI and NI, 2013-23
              • Market factors
                • RoI economy growing strongly, NI economy stalling somewhat
                  • Switching activity low in RoI, higher in UK (incl. NI)
                    • Current accounts generating high level of complaints in NI and RoI
                      • Companies and brands
                        • The consumer
                          • Current account ownership close to 100% among consumers
                            • Figure 3: Number of current accounts owned by consumers (including those owned jointly with someone else), NI and RoI, September 2018
                          • High level of competition in NI current account market
                            • Figure 4: The bank, building society or credit union where consumers have their main current account, NI, September 2018
                          • RoI current account market dominated by two major providers
                            • Figure 5: The bank, building society or credit union where consumers have their main current account, RoI, September 2018
                          • Half of NI and two thirds of RoI consumers have never switched provider
                            • Figure 6: Whether consumers have ever switched where their main current account is held, NI and RoI, September 2018
                          • Online and mobile the preferred banking channels in Ireland
                            • Figure 7: Preferred methods of conducting selected banking activities, NI and RoI, September 2018
                          • What it means
                          • The Market – What You Need to Know

                            • 2% increase in number of current accounts in Ireland from 2017-18
                              • Both Irish economies growing, with RoI growth especially robust
                                • Lack of switching among RoI consumers, more so in UK (incl. NI)
                                  • Current accounts proving source of complaints among consumers
                                  • Market Size and Forecast

                                      • More than 7.1 million current accounts in Ireland in 2018
                                        • Figure 8: Total number of active current accounts, actual, estimated, forecast and projected, IoI, RoI and NI, 2013-23
                                      • RoI market static over last five years, while NI market up 4%
                                        • RoI market to grow by 10%, NI by 5% in coming five years
                                          • Figure 9: Index of total number of active current accounts, actual, estimated, forecast and projected, RoI and NI, 2013-23
                                      • Market Drivers

                                        • Contrasting outlooks for both Irish economies
                                          • Figure 10: Economic growth, forecasts, RoI and NI, 2017-22
                                        • Slowdown in job creation expected in NI, but set to continue in RoI
                                          • Figure 11: Labour market performance, job growth forecasts, RoI and NI, 2017-22
                                        • Charges likely discouraging multiple account ownership in RoI
                                          • Figure 12: Annual maintenance fees on current accounts, RoI, 2018
                                        • Switching activity low among RoI consumers
                                          • Figure 13: Number of current account switches, RoI, H2 2013-H1 2017
                                        • High level of switching among UK (including NI) consumers
                                          • NI-based providers faring poorly in switching stakes
                                            • Figure 14: Switching net gains/losses, UK (including NI) financial institutions, Q4 2017 and Q1 2018
                                          • Current accounts most complained about banking product in RoI
                                            • Figure 15: Complaints about current accounts, H2 2013-H1 2017
                                            • Figure 16: Complaints about current accounts, by complaint type, H1 2017
                                          • Current account complaints 25% of all complaints received by FOS
                                            • Figure 17: Complaints, by complaint type, %, UK (including NI), 2016/17
                                        • Companies and Brands – What You Need to Know

                                          • Irish banks’ digital strategy lagging behind in the current accounts market
                                            • Digital-first strategies will mean fewer bank branches
                                              • Payment Service Directive 2 Legislation came into force in January 2018
                                                • Challenger brand Monzo reached half a million current account holders in the UK
                                                  • Banks in the UK and Ireland likely to face much more competition from non-financial businesses in future
                                                  • Companies and Brands

                                                      • Santander (NI only)
                                                        • Key facts
                                                          • Product portfolio
                                                            • Recent developments
                                                              • Ulster Bank
                                                                • Key facts
                                                                  • Product portfolio
                                                                    • Recent developments
                                                                      • Halifax (NI Only)
                                                                        • Key facts
                                                                          • Product portfolio
                                                                            • Recent developments
                                                                              • Danske Bank (NI only)
                                                                                • Key facts
                                                                                  • Product portfolio
                                                                                    • Recent developments
                                                                                      • Bank of Ireland
                                                                                        • Key facts
                                                                                          • Product portfolio
                                                                                            • Recent developments
                                                                                              • Allied Irish Bank Group
                                                                                                • Key facts
                                                                                                  • Product portfolio
                                                                                                    • Recent developments
                                                                                                      • Permanent TSB (RoI only)
                                                                                                        • Key facts
                                                                                                          • Product portfolio
                                                                                                            • Recent developments
                                                                                                              • EBS (RoI only)
                                                                                                                • Key facts
                                                                                                                  • Product portfolio
                                                                                                                    • Nationwide (NI only)
                                                                                                                      • Key facts
                                                                                                                        • Product portfolio
                                                                                                                          • Recent developments
                                                                                                                            • An Post (RoI only)
                                                                                                                              • Key facts
                                                                                                                                • Product portfolio
                                                                                                                                  • HSBC (NI only)
                                                                                                                                    • Key facts
                                                                                                                                      • Product portfolio
                                                                                                                                        • Recent developments
                                                                                                                                          • KBC Ireland (RoI only)
                                                                                                                                            • Key facts
                                                                                                                                              • Product portfolio
                                                                                                                                                • Recent developments
                                                                                                                                                • Who’s Innovating?

                                                                                                                                                  • Convergence between financial services companies and FinTech start-ups
                                                                                                                                                    • WhatsApp bank account on trial in Brazil
                                                                                                                                                      • Amazon slowly encroaching into financial services
                                                                                                                                                        • Venmo launches a debit card in US
                                                                                                                                                        • The Consumer – What You Need to Know

                                                                                                                                                          • Near-universal ownership of current accounts in NI and RoI
                                                                                                                                                            • Strong competition within NI main and non-main account markets
                                                                                                                                                              • Two banks dominate the current account market in RoI
                                                                                                                                                                • Two thirds of RoI and half of NI consumers have never switched provider
                                                                                                                                                                  • Preferred channels for banking activities now online and mobile
                                                                                                                                                                  • Ownership of Current Accounts

                                                                                                                                                                      • Almost every Irish consumer has at least one current account
                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 18: Number of current accounts owned by consumers (including those owned jointly with someone else), NI and RoI, September 2018
                                                                                                                                                                      • Multiple account ownership highest among consumers aged 35-44
                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 19: Consumers who have two personal current accounts (including those owned jointly with someone else), by age, NI and RoI, September 2018
                                                                                                                                                                      • Married consumers more likely to have additional current account
                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 20: Consumers who have two personal current accounts (including those owned jointly with someone else), by marital status, NI and RoI, September 2018
                                                                                                                                                                      • Multiple account ownership increases with income and social class
                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 21: Consumers who have two personal current accounts (including those owned jointly with someone else), by social class, NI and RoI, September 2018
                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 22: Consumers who have two personal current accounts (including those owned jointly with someone else), by household income, NI and RoI, September 2018
                                                                                                                                                                    • Where Current Accounts Are Held

                                                                                                                                                                        • Six providers with 10% or more market share in NI
                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 23: The bank, building society or credit union where consumers have their main current account, NI, September 2018
                                                                                                                                                                        • Healthy competition in NI's non-main current account market
                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 24: The bank, building society or credit union where consumers have their other (non-main) current account, NI, September 2018
                                                                                                                                                                        • Two banks command two thirds of the current account market in RoI
                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 25: The bank, building society or credit union where consumers have their main current account, RoI, September 2018
                                                                                                                                                                        • No dominant provider in non-main account market in RoI
                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 26: The bank, building society or credit union where consumers have their other (non-main) current account, RoI, September 2018
                                                                                                                                                                      • Switching Activity

                                                                                                                                                                          • Switching relatively uncommon among Irish consumers
                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 27: Whether consumers have ever switched where their main current account is held, NI and RoI, September 2018
                                                                                                                                                                          • More than half of all consumers who have switched did so five or more years ago
                                                                                                                                                                            • Younger consumers and women most likely to have never switched provider
                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 28: Consumers who say they have never switched their main current account provider, by gender and age, NI and RoI, September 2018
                                                                                                                                                                          • Methods Used for Selected Activities

                                                                                                                                                                              • Digital now by far the preferred method for banking activities
                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 29: Preferred methods of conducting selected banking activities, NI and RoI, September 2018
                                                                                                                                                                              • Branches popular when face-to-face interaction helpful or necessary
                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 30: Consumers who prefer to use in-branch counter services when conducting various banking activities, NI and RoI, September 2018
                                                                                                                                                                              • Online banking offers convenience and functionality
                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 31: Consumers who prefer to use online banking (using a desktop/laptop) when conducting various banking activities, NI and RoI, September 2018
                                                                                                                                                                              • Mobile banking the preferred channel for 'on-the-go' activities
                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 32: Consumers who prefer to use mobile banking (ie app/website) when conducting various banking activities, NI and RoI, September 2018
                                                                                                                                                                              • Telephone banking now a distinctly niche channel among consumers
                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 33: Consumers who prefer to use telephone banking when conducting various banking activities, NI and RoI, September 2018
                                                                                                                                                                            • Appendix – Data Sources, Abbreviations and Supporting Information

                                                                                                                                                                              • Data sources
                                                                                                                                                                                • Abbreviations

                                                                                                                                                                                Current Accounts - Ireland - October 2018

                                                                                                                                                                                US $1,400.83 (Excl.Tax)