Just 30% of customers who are switching banks due to the exit of Ulster Bank and KBC from the Irish market have started transferring their direct debits, according to new figures published by Banking and Payments Federation Ireland (BPFI).

It is reminding customers that opening a new account is just the first step in the process.

"There is still a journey to be travelled and further action is required by both customers and the wider industry in this regard," said Brian Hayes, Chief Executive of BPFI.

Speaking on Morning Ireland, Mr Hayes said he would encourage customers to make a list of all their direct debits, if they have not already done so.

"Work through this list to update all your providers with your new account details - be it your utility company, phone or broadband provider, your insurance provider, or the Revenue Commissioners," he advised.

Mr Hayes said every personal account has on average five direct debits on a monthly basis.

"Around €160 billion worth of direct debits go through Irish bank accounts on a yearly basis, so it is a very popular way for people to pay for their bills on a monthly basis," he said.

Mr Hayes also reminded customers to make sure their income sources have their new account details.

This includes your employer, social welfare departments, and pension providers.

We need your consent to load this rte-player contentWe use rte-player to manage extra content that can set cookies on your device and collect data about your activity. Please review their details and accept them to load the content.Manage Preferences

To ensure consumers and businesses are supported and encouraged to update their direct debit payments as they make the move, BPFI is hosting a roundtable meeting today with regulators including the Central Bank of Ireland, ComReg and the Commission for Regulation of Utilities (CRU) in addition to a a range of direct debit originators.

Over the last six months, BPFI has been engaging with direct debit originators on a monthly basis to discuss any issues emerging - and Mr Hayes said today's meeting will build on this.

"In particular, discussions have focused on the potential volume of customers required to update account details; communications with customers at industry and individual company level; the Switching Code and its operation; and considerations relating to payments including IBAN discrimination and direct debit mandates," he added.

Direct debit originators, such as utility companies, will be facing huge volumes of requests for amendments over the coming months.

When asked if he is concerned that some may not be able to handle all those requests, Mr Hayes said BPFI is working closely with service providers.

"One of the reasons behind today's roundtable discussion with our regulators is to make sure that we all have capacity here, banks and service providers to make sure we can deal with the volume of calls," he added.

Figures published by the Central Bank last week showed that just a quarter of Ulster Bank and KBC accounts have been closed since the start of this year, despite intense efforts by the two lenders to wind down their operations here.

600,311 new accounts have been opened in the three main remaining retail banks, Bank of Ireland, AIB and Permanent TSB, over that period.