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How to open a bank account in Ireland

25 Feb 2021 - Category: Blog /
open a bank account in Ireland

There are so many things to think about when you move abroad, and one of the most important things is getting your bank account set up. But, setting up your account doesn’t need to be stressful. If you’re moving to Ireland, here’s everything you’ll need to know to make the process work for you. Something to note from the start, in Ireland a debit card is often referred to as a laser card.

Right, in this blog we will answer some important questions:

Do you need to be a resident to open a bank account in Ireland?

In short: no.

You can open a bank account in Ireland whether you are a resident or not. Since Ireland is a member of the European Union (EU), and since it joined the regulations for residents and non-residents where banking is concerned are the same.

Therefore, the process to open a bank account is no different whether you’re a resident or a non-resident. However, residents are taxed on the interest they earn while non-residents are not. [Just Landed]

Do you need an Irish bank account?

In short: yes.

Are you are moving to Ireland from overseas and are wondering whether you can just make do with your existing bank account? It’s worth knowing that you will need to pay for your Irish utility and tax bills from an Irish account. These are generally best paid by direct debit.

Can you open a bank account in Ireland from overseas?

In short: yes.

In an ideal world, it would be best to open an Irish bank account in person. However, if you’re moving to Ireland, it’s much better to have your account set up before you arrive - if possible. Before the bank will enable you to open an account, most will want to see you in person. Luckily, many of them offer FaceTime or Skype meetings to help you open an account before you move. How wonderful the digital age is!

What are the opening hours of banks in Ireland?

Most banks in Ireland are usually open between 9:30 or 10:00 am and 4:00 to 4:30 pm on weekdays. Some will open later, until 5:00 pm, one evening a week and the main branches, which can be found in larger towns and cities, will often be open between 10:00 am and 1:00 pm on Saturdays too.

However, branch opening hours will differ so it’s worth finding your local branch. For example, to find out the opening hours for the Bank of Ireland you can use their branch locator.

Which bank should I choose?

There are 5 important things to consider when choosing with bank to open an account with:

  1. Shop around. Make sure you shop around to get the best deal. Banks that offer free services if you meet conditions (such as having or maintaining a certain balance) can be great if your salary will be paid into it. Do read the small print, though: some deals may apply for a short amount of time. [Relocating to Ireland]
  2. Research specific requirements. If you are interested in internet/online, telephone or mobile phone banking services, it’s worth doing your research: most Irish banks will offer these services, but the quality does vary.
  3. Cash only? Some banks limit the number of free withdrawals you can make each month. If you rely on cash, many retailers (especially supermarkets) will offer a cashback service, where they add the value you request to the bill and give it to you in cash.
  4. Location. If you’re opening an account from abroad, you might also want to choose one that has a branch near to where you will be living or the area you’re considering.
  5. Easy ATM access. Check which banks have easily accessible ATMs close to where you live.

Should I close my existing accounts?

In short: not all of them (unless you want to).

If you plan to move to Ireland permanently, you may want to close down any existing accounts. However, for the short-term at least, keeping at least one account open in your home country (for final bills or unexpected expenses) is a sensible option.

Many people who move to Ireland end up having at least two current accounts: a local one with an Irish bank for every day, and a foreign account for international and large transactions, that is often related to business.

How to open a bank account in Ireland

Opening a bank account in Ireland, as a resident or a non-resident, from Ireland or from abroad, is pretty easy.

If you are applying online, depending on the services your chosen bank offers, you will either need to contact your bank and ask them to send you an application form, or you may be able to apply online.

Can you open a bank account in Ireland without proof of address?

In short: no.

One stumbling block to opening an Irish bank account before moving is that you do need to provide proof of address. While you will not being able to show a utility bill until you have moved in, you do have a couple of options.

  1. Ask your employer to provide a letter (with company letterhead) that confirms your employment and that includes your Irish address
  2. Signing up for health insurance as soon as arrive is a great way to get around this: you will be sent a letter confirming your membership that can be used much more quickly than waiting for your first utility bills

And, once you’ve set up your account, it’s also worth knowing how you can send money home and receive it easily with Small World.

We offer three ways to send money to Ireland and it’s quick and easy to get set up. You can send money direct to a bank account, as cash to be picked up or to a location that is easy for you to collect.

Send money to Ireland

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