Blog – Galway Bay FM – 28th March 2013

Issue:  Permanent TSB & KBC to shake up the market with reduced bank charges on current accounts.

Comment:  It remains to be seen what packages both banks introduce but I understand that Permanent TSB will make free banking on their current accounts widely available.  In addition there are rumors that KBC, who never previously operated in the current account market, will soon provide this service.

Since the downturn, banks have been increasing interest and charges on their customers at an alarming rate.  There has been no competition whatsoever in any area of banking services and a new development that brings down the costs for consumers has to be welcomed.  It remains to be seen what effect any of these pending changes will have on the likes of Bank of Ireland / Ulster Bank / AIB.

Question:  I have a life policy for a mortgage, which I took out through the lender that I deal with.  Is it possible to get a cheaper alternative or do I have to keep the policy that I have?

Answer:  Firstly it is important to remember that you do not have to take out a life policy through the lender that you get your mortgage from.  If you can obtain a cheaper alternative then you are free to move.  Obviously this will be dependent on your health circumstances and age.

Question:  Do you think that there is any hope that Deposit Rates will rise in the next year or so?

Answer:  Unfortunately the bad news is that if you are waiting for an increase in deposit rates then you are going to be sadly disappointed.  The outlook over the next couple of years is in fact for rates to fall further.