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10 Best Banks In Ireland

The best banks in Ireland are the most trusted financial institutions in the country that cater to diverse clients with different needs.

The financial system in Ireland functions in a manner that is virtually identical to the banking system in the UK.

Ireland is home to a total of 64 financial institutions, including banks. And the majority of financial institutions have been doing fairly well recently.

The authority that exercises jurisdiction over the whole of Ireland’s financial sector is known as the Central Bank of Ireland (CBI). Therefore, the CBI is in charge of managing licenses, rules, and the upkeep of financial services.

If you want to invest as an expat or high-net-worth individual, which is what I specialize in, you can email me (advice@adamfayed.com) or use WhatsApp (+44-7393-450-837).

10 Best Banks In Ireland

1. Allied Irish Bank (AIB)

Overview

The Allied Irish Bank ranks first among the best banks in Ireland. The state owns 71.05% of it. In 2010, it required a bailout; however, it has since made a full recovery.

In addition, the company reported a return on capital of 19.57% in 2015. The most recent data, from 2017, indicated that there were 10,500 people employed here.

best banks in ireland
Banking in Ireland.

The bank was established on September 21st, 1966, which puts its age at around 57 years. Dublin is home to the organization’s main office.

Allied Irish Banks, plc is recognized as one of the “Big Four” commercial banks operating in the Republic of Ireland. 

The Irish government first acquired a controlling share in the bank in December of 2010, and their ownership ultimately increased to 99.8 percent.

Shares of AIB are traded on the Irish Stock Exchange and the London Stock Exchange at the present time; however, the company’s stock was delisted from both markets between 2011 and 2017, after the effective nationalization of the company.

Until June 23, 2017, the remaining publicly traded shares of the company were listed on the Enterprise Securities Market of the Irish Stock Exchange.

Allied Irish Bank (GB) and AIB (NI) are both subsidiaries of AIB that are located in Great Britain and Northern Ireland respectively. It was in November of 2010 that they decided to sell their interest of 22.5% in M&T Bank in the United States.

By purchasing the AmCredit mortgage financing company from the Baltic – American Enterprise Fund at the beginning of 2008, AIB was able to penetrate the markets of Latvia, Estonia, and Lithuania. Swedbank acquired this share in 2012 after it was sold at a loss.

As part of the Bank Recapitalization Scheme, the Irish government extended a bailout of €3.5 billion to Allied Irish Banks and Bank of Ireland in 2009.

These two financial institutions were competitors in the Irish banking industry. The overall amount of the AIB and EBS bailout combined was €20.7 billion, which was distributed across a number of further tranches.

An initial public offering (IPO) of Allied Irish Banks was successfully conducted by the Irish government in June 2017.

In December 2021, when the business’s valuation on the public market was less than 6 billion euros, the government made the announcement that it would begin selling off its ownership in the company gradually.

Since March 2019, Colin Hunt has served as the Chief Executive Officer of AIB. In October of 2021, Jim Pettigrew was given the position of Chair of the Board.

Allied Irish Bank is the best place to open a bank account if you plan to retire in Ireland.

Banking Products and Services

AIB provides customers with a comprehensive selection of personal, corporate, and commercial banking services.

In addition, the financial institution provides a variety of general insurance products, such as automobile, house, and vacation coverage. Through its affiliated agency with Irish Life Assurance plc, the company provides pensions in addition to life insurance policies.

Bank Assets

In the year 2016, the operational income of Allied Irish Bank was €2.9 billion, while the net income was €1.7 billion. According to the Annual Report of Allied Irish Bank for the year 2021, the bank had total assets of €92.5 billion as of the 31st of December in the same year.

2. Bank of Ireland

Overview

1783 was the year that saw the birth of the Bank of Ireland. Dublin serves as the location of the company’s main office. The Bank of Ireland ranks second among the best banks in Ireland.

The provision of banking and insurance services, as well as their own sale, make up the bulk of this financial institution’s activities. According to the findings of the research from 2018, around 11,086 people are employed here.

The Bank of Ireland Group plc is a commercial bank with operations in Ireland. It is also one of the “Big Four” Irish banks, which are the most established financial institutions in the country. 

The Bank of Ireland has a unique place in the annals of Irish banking history due to its status as the country’s oldest and most venerable financial institution.

The historic institution known as the Governor and Company of the Bank of Ireland, which was founded in 1783 under the authority of a Royal Charter, forms the basis of the contemporary organization.

The headquarters of Bank of Ireland are located in Dublin, and the financial institution also has branches across the Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland, Great Britain, and other locations.

Bank Products and Services

The Group serves the personal, commercial, industrial, and agricultural sectors in Ireland with a comprehensive portfolio of financial products and services.

These include services like checking and depositing money, leasing, installment credit, international asset finance, debt financing, mortgages, foreign exchange facilities, interest and exchange rate hedging instruments, overdrafts, and executor and trustee services.

The Bank of Ireland reached its pinnacle in 1969 when it had 500 branches throughout the Republic of Ireland. By the year 2022, the total number of branches had been reduced to 169 via a steady process.

Bank Assets

Additionally, the net income for the year 2018 was 935 million euros. During the same period of time, the revenues came in at €2,146 million, while the operating profits came in at €2,805 million.

Moreover, according to the 2021 Annual Report published by Bank of Ireland, the total assets held by the bank amounted to €92.8 billion. 

3. Ulster Bank

Overview

One of the classic “Big Four” Irish clearing banks, Ulster Bank is a significant retail banking institution in Ireland. It is ranked third among the best banks in Ireland.

National Westminster Bank Plc, trading as Ulster Bank (operating in Northern Ireland, but registered in England and Wales), and Ulster Bank Ireland DAC (UBIDAC – registered in the Republic of Ireland) are the two distinct legal companies that make up the Ulster Bank Group. 

National Westminster Bank Plc, trading as Ulster Bank, is a subsidiary of the Ulster Bank Group. 

In the Republic of Ireland, the headquarters of Ulster Bank can be found on George’s Quay in Dublin. In Northern Ireland, the headquarters of Ulster Bank can be found on Donegall Square East in Belfast.

Ulster Bank is responsible for a significant portion of the financial services industry in both the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland.

The London County and Westminster Bank took over the Ulster Bank in 1917 after the bank had been in operation since 1836.

In the year 2000, it transitioned from being a wholly-owned subsidiary of National Westminster Bank (NatWest) to being a member of the Royal Bank of Scotland Group. In the year 2020, the RBS Group became known as the NatWest Group.

The NatWest Group made the announcement about the gradual departure of all banking operations and related services inside the Republic of Ireland on the 19th of February, 2021.

In accordance with a Banking Business Transfer Scheme that was authorized by the court, on May 3, 2021, the business operations of Ulster Bank Limited in Northern Ireland were handed over to its parent company, National Westminster Bank.

Ulster Bank is a well-known brand across the island of Ireland. The bank operates approximately 1,200 free-of-charge ATMs, in addition to its 146 locations in the Republic of Ireland and its 90 branches in Northern Ireland.

It serves about 1.9 million customers and has more than 3,000 staff members.

Banking Products and Services

Personal, corporate, and commercial clients may all take advantage of Ulster Bank’s comprehensive banking and insurance service offerings.

In addition to its other financial services, the bank offers its clients the option of obtaining a Debit Mastercard together with their current account. In September of 2010, the company presented its retail clients with 15 additional commitments.

Bank Assets

According to the Annual Report of NatWest Group for the Year 2021, the total assets of Ulster Bank were £19.8 billion.

4. Citibank Europe

Overview

Approximately one hundred and twenty years ago, in 1902, Citibank Europe was established. It is a division of Citibank, which is an American multinational banking and financial services corporation. 

Citibank Europe plc, more frequently referred to as Citibank, is a subsidiary of Citigroup, which is a worldwide financial services organization with its headquarters located in New York City, New York, United States.

best banks in ireland
An Irish man speaking to a banker.

Citibank Europe plc’s headquarters are located in the Republic of Ireland. A network that covers 98 different markets all over the globe is what connects Citibank Europe to the rest of the world. 

The United Kingdom serves as the administrative center for Citi’s activities across the Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) area, which spans a total of 54 nations.

Since 1965, Citi has maintained a presence in Ireland, and the company was one of the first outside financial institutions to establish an office there.

Citi Ireland, which serves as the Head Office for Citibank Europe plc and has offices on Dublin’s North Wall Quay, provides financial services to customers in more than 160 countries.

North Wall Quay in Dublin is home to Citibank Europe’s administrative offices and main branch. It is a significant foreign subsidiary that is now functioning in the Irish market.

Banking Products and Services

It provides a wide range of banking services, including cash management, investment products, trade services, corporate financing, trustee services, and transfer agency services, amongst others.

According to Moody’s Investors Services, Citibank Europe has been given an A1 rating for its creditworthiness. This indicates that Citibank Europe has been given an upper-medium grade.

Bank Assets

According to the Annual Report of Citigroup for 2021, Citibank Europe has a total asset value of $52.9 billion. This bank ranks fourth among the best banks in Ireland in terms of assets.

5. Permanent TSB Group Holdings PLC

Overview

Irish Life and Permanent PLC was the original name of the company that is today known as Permanent TSB Group Holdings. This bank ranks fifth among the best banks in Ireland.

Customers in Ireland like the personal financial services that this company provides to them. It was founded in 1884, making its current age about 133 years old. Dublin is the location of this bank’s main office and headquarters.

Irish Life and Permanent plc, formerly known as Permanent TSB Group Holdings plc, is a financial services company that caters to individuals in Ireland.

The Trustee Savings Bank was bought by the Irish Life and Permanent Group in 2001 when the Irish Life Assurance plc and the Irish Permanent Building Society combined in 1999 to establish the Irish Life and Permanent Group. They are completely unrelated to the TSB Bank in the UK.

As a result of the Irish financial crisis, the team fragmented. The Irish government spent €1.3 billion to acquire the lucrative Irish Life Group, then in July 2013, it sold the company to Great-west Lifeco.

The Irish government invested an additional €2.7 billion into the bank, making it wholly owned by the government.

More than a million people in Ireland use this bank. In June of 2020, Jeremy Masding stepped down as CEO of Permanent TSB, and was replaced by Eamonn Crowley.

According to reports from March 2011 amid the Irish financial crisis, the bank required an external rescue of €4.0 billion.

Irish Life International Ltd (ILI) was bought by SEB (Skandinaviska Enskilda Banken AB) in February 2011, and the company is now known as Life International Assurance Company Limited.

On February 19, 2013, Canadian insurance giant Great-West Lifeco announced it will pay €1.3 billion to acquire the Irish Life Group. 

US-based Cerberus Capital Management acquired the UK loan portfolio in October 2016.

Permanent TSB’s acquisition of a €7.6 billion Ulster Bank loan book and 25 branch locations was approved by the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC) in July 2022. Ulster Bank, a former rival, said it will stop serving the Republic of Ireland in February 2021.

Bank Assets

According to the information that we obtained for 2015, both the net income and the operational income had been negative, totaling 425 and 399 million Euros, respectively. On the other side, income for the same year came in at 694 million Euros.

The 2021 Annual Report for Permanent TSB states that the bank’s total assets were €17.3 billion. 

6. Danske Bank (Ireland)

Overview

Northern Bank Limited, doing business as Danske Bank, is a major participant in the Northern Irish and British banking sectors. Danske Bank ranks sixth among the best banks in Ireland.

It was established in 1986, making it one of the more established foreign subsidiaries in Ireland. Almost 31 years have passed since its inception. Dublin is the location of Danske Bank’s main office and headquarters.

The bank has been there for customers for over two centuries, helping them with their banking requirements. It is a subsidiary of the Danske Bank Group, one of the leading banking corporations in the Nordic region.

The main office of the Danske Bank Group is located in Copenhagen, and one of its subsidiaries is called Danske Bank (Ireland).

There are 22,376 people employed here according to the figures for the year 2020.

Banking Products and Services

Personal banking, business banking, and corporate and institutional banking make up the three distinct divisions that make up Danske Bank’s organizational structure.

The bank provides several options for banking to its clients, including in-person service in branches and RBCs, as well as by telephone and online.

Danske Bank provides the best of both worlds to its clients by drawing on the resources and cutting-edge technology of its multinational parent firm while retaining its local identity, autonomy, and knowledge.

Bank Assets

The annual report for 2021 states that Danske Bank (Ireland) has assets of €14.5 billion. 

7. KBC Bank Ireland

Overview

KBC Bank Ireland plc is one of the best banks in Ireland that operates branches in Dublin, Cork, Limerick, Galway, Waterford, and Belfast.

On February 14th, 1973, KBC Bank Ireland was founded, making its establishment nearly exactly 44 years ago. Irish Intercontinental Bank was the name under which KBC Bank Ireland PLC operated when it was first established.

In 1972, the company began operations under the name Irish Intercontinental Bank. In 1978, KBC Bank, which has its headquarters in Brussels, purchased 75% of the company’s shares. 

1999 saw the acquisition of a whole 100% interest in IIB by KBC Bank; the following year, the bank officially changed its name to IIB Bank.

The bank was given its current name, KBC Bank Ireland plc, on October 27, 2008, the day that marked the 30th anniversary of KBC’s majority ownership of the institution.

Banking Products and Services

KBC Bank Ireland offers a comprehensive selection of banking products and services, which include  Commercial, Corporate, and Business Banking, Treasury & Capital Markets, and  Private Banking.

Its mortgage section, which goes by the name KBC Homeloans, is the most successful mortgage provider in Ireland.

In 2012, KBC started to operate its branch network, and the company continued its expansion in 2014. This comes as a result of Halifax Ireland and Danske Bank leaving the retail sector in Ireland, with some branches being established in the old sites of those banks.

Bank Assets

The whole assets of KBC Bank Ireland PLC were purchased, including loan books totaling €10 billion and deposit books totaling €5 billion.

8. EBS d.a.c.

Alex McCabe laid the groundwork for what would become EBS d.a.c. in the year 1935. The establishment of this organization’s primary focus will be to provide teachers and other public workers access to affordable home financing options. In 2018, there were 330 people working here in total across all departments.

In 2019, EBS d.a.c. reported a net income of €4 million and an operational income of €270 million. These figures represent their respective years’ earnings. The EBS Building in Dublin is where the company’s headquarters may be found.

9. DEPFA Bank Ireland

Overview

DEPFA Bank PLC is a bank that operates in both Germany and Ireland. It was established in 2002, which is around 15 years ago. This bank ranks ninth among the best banks in Ireland.

Even though it was formed a long time ago under the jurisdiction of the Prussian Government, it wasn’t until much later that the Irish Government made it a law. Dublin is the location of the company’s headquarters.

best banks in ireland
A man making a bank transaction.

Gerhard Bruckermann is credited with establishing this bank, which is now a division of Hypo Real Estate. This financial institution has a significant emphasis on both the public sector and large-scale infrastructure projects.

Before 2014, DEPFA Bank plc was a German-Irish bank operating out of Dublin. In addition to providing financial services to the public sector, it also financed bigger infrastructure projects. The name derivates from Deutsche Pfandbriefbank.

Originally, DEPFA Bank was founded in 1922 under the patronage of the government of Prussia, and it was tasked with the responsibility of providing funding for residential building projects.

Its more recent history started in the 1950s, when the bank became a federally owned business and was to offer for a broad variety of residential mortgages. This marked the beginning of the bank’s more modern period.

After the company lost its tax-exempt status in the 1970s, it joined the commercial lending business and quickly became the most significant underwriter of public covered bonds in Germany.

The financial institution was taken private in 1990 and then listed on the FSE the following year, 1991.

Bank Assets

Annual reports provided by DEPFA Bank indicate that the total assets held by DEPFA Bank Ireland were €10.2 billion in 2019, €10.6 billion in 2020, and €9.9 billion in 2021.

10. Bank of Montreal Ireland PLC

Overview

BMO Financial Group is a highly diversified supplier of financial services that is headquartered in North America. Bank of Montreal Ireland is the Irish section of BMO Financial Group. This bank is ranked tenth among the best banks in Ireland.

It was in the year 1996 that the Bank of Montreal Ireland PLC. first opened its doors to customers. It is widely recognized as one of the most influential overseas branches in Ireland.

BMO serves more than 12 million clients with a wide variety of personal and commercial banking, wealth management, and investment banking products and services. The company has more than 47,000 workers.

Seagrave House in Dublin is the location of the corporate headquarters of Bank of Montreal (BMO) PLC.

In Canada, the Bank of Montreal is one of the best wealth management banks.

Banking Products and Services

It offers business services to clients in its immediate area. The majority of its offerings are in the form of general and industrial loans throughout the medium to long term. 

Bank Assets

According to the 2021 Annual Report published by Bank of Montreal Ireland, the total assets held by the bank amounted to €1.6 billion. The company’s total assets amounted to 1.4 billion and 1.6 billion euros in 2019 and 2020, respectively.

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