A new study by digital bank, N26, has uncovered that almost half of Irish consumers (47%) are either irritated or annoyed by their current bank.
The research was carried out in April 2020 by Sapio Research amonst 10,106 people living in Europe and the US. The research asked Irish consumers whether they had ever received an unexpected fee from their bank.
Sixty seven percent reported they’d been hit by a fee they didn’t know was coming, with ATM fees (44%), checking account fees (33%), foreign transaction charges (29%), credit card fees (28%) and overdraft fees (25%) listed as the most common charges.
Forty two percent of Irish people have been affected an average of three times in the last 12 months, costing approximately €19.90 each time, equating to €39.80 per year in unexpected fees.
Regionally, those in Connacht report paying the most on unexpected fees, paying an average of €23.72 for each unexpected fee versus an average of €17.04 in Munster, €17.05 in Ulster and €20.54 in Leinster.
A generational gap was also apparent, with 71% of those aged 25-34 saying they’ve received an unexpected fee, compared to just 42% of those aged 65+.
When asked for the one thing Irish people would change about the way banks operate, scrapping hidden fees and charges came out on top for almost half (47%). That number was highest in Greece (50%) and lowest in the Benelux regions (33%).
Life has changed significantly since COVID-19, so 36% of Irish consumers also reported they’d want to see interest fees and additional charges scrapped when times are tough.
Some European markets are hit harder than others when it comes to unexpected charges. Spain has the highest number of people (81%) reporting they’ve experienced these fees, while Italy has the lowest at 59%.
Commenting on the research, Head of Ireland of N26, Sarunas Legeckas said, "Finances remain one of the last great taboos and the research showcases the need for banks to speak honestly and transparently so that people can regain control over their finances."