Opening a bank account in 21st century Ireland is a tortuous exercise. Let me put this another way: starting a relationship where you are trying to be a customer of a financial institution and give them your money so that they can make interest off it in return for a meagre few services is a tortuous exercise.

I know there are money-laundering regulations to be complied with, and processes to go through, but come on, there has to be a better way. I won’t tell you which bank, but they’re all pretty much the same. I was recommended by my accountant to go with a specific one, which I did, but these were some of the hoops you have to go through to become a paying customer. As someone who advises companies on how to work hard to attract companies to you, I’m always boggled by how difficult life is made for someone who wants to become your customer.

I suppose it’s because they’re all as bad as each other, and they’re pretty set in their ways, but if there’s one industry that’s prime for disruption, this is it. Anyway, here are some of the things I find amazing:

– You can’t apply for a business bank account online. The lady I spoke with in the bank said there’s more paper involved these days than there ever was

– You can’t take the application form out of the branch

– You have to make an appointment to apply in person (I’m not making this up)

– If it’s a limited company, all of the directors need to attend in person, to be verified in person for ID and address. For small companies who have maybe two directors, one of which is a spouse working somewhere else, this means they need to take a holiday to get to the bank, for the next reason

– The bank’s opening house are 10am til 12:30pm, and 1:30pm til 4pm. On Mondays they push the boat out and stay open til 5pm

– Once you’ve negotiated the application process, which has to be done in real time, your time, with the bank person, they send it off to head office, where it takes two weeks – yes, two weeks – to process

As the Irish would say, it’s mad isn’t it? Except the Irish simply shrug and get on with things.

As I said, ripe for change, this industry…

 

Advertisements