Bank of Ireland has said it will waive contactless fees with immediate effect for the duration of the public health emergency arising from the Covid-19 outbreak.

It follows a similar move by AIB which came in for criticism last week for announcing the introduction of a range of new banking fees.

Among the measures it had planned to introduce from the end of May was a 1 cent charge for customers who make contactless payments.

A quarterly maintenance fee of €4.50 for current accounts was also planned.

Bank of Ireland said its move was made in order to comply with advice from the Government on social distancing and hand hygiene.

The bank also said it would buy back foreign currency at the rate it was sold, ensuring that the customer won't be at a financial loss.

"We understand that some customers may be worried about the impact that contracting COVID-19 might have on them financially, and would ask customers to contact us directly where they have concerns," John O’Beirne, Director of Products at Bank of Ireland said.