The main retail banks, An Post Money and Credit Unions have opened 434,000 personal current accounts so far this year, as customers of Ulster Bank and KBC Bank Ireland continue switching providers ahead of the exit of the two banks from the Irish market.

New figures from Banking and Payments Federation Ireland show that account opening increased in August, with almost 70,000 personal current accounts opened in the four weeks ending 2 September.

On average, 12,400 accounts were opened every week.

Meanwhile, BPFI has confirmed that the five retail banks now have dedicated phone lines in place for vulnerable customers who are switching bank accounts.

Phone lines for vulnerable customers:

AIB 0818 227 056

Bank of Ireland 1800 946 146

KBC Bank 1800 804 472

Permanent TSB 0818 818 721

Ulster Bank Ireland 1800 656 001

Alongside these new phone lines, BPFI has also launched a new guide aimed at customers who may need additional support, or those caring for them.

The guide, which is part of a wider information campaign, details the different types of circumstances which may lead a customer to require additional assistance as they move account and provides examples of the various types of solutions which banks can put in place.

"There are many reasons a customer may need additional support during this process," said Louise O'Mahony, Head of Sustainable Banking at BPFI.

"This includes customers who cannot attend a branch due to mobility issues, those who may have an accessibility need due to hearing loss or customers who need additional support due to diminished cognitive ability.

"Indeed, in many cases it may be a trusted family member, a carer, or a legal representative acting on behalf of the customer who needs help during the account moving process," she said.

Ms O'Mahony said she would encourage customers who feel they need additional support to contact their new provider on their dedicated phone line to discuss their individual situation.

"Banks understand the importance of facilitating independent decision making for all customers, and while some cases are quite complex and may take more time our member banks understand that each case is different and will work with you to find a solution," she said.

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