New figures from the Central Bank show that a total of 361,790 current accounts remained open in Ulster Bank and KBC Bank Ireland at the end of December as the two banks continue the withdrawal process from the country.

This marked a fall of 47% in the number of accounts at the two lenders since the start of the year.

Of these, 240,397 current accounts were still designated as "active accounts" while 152,124 were deemed as the customer's "primary" account.

Ulster Bank and KBC Bank Ireland in 2021 announced plans to leave the Irish market in phased withdrawals.

The Central Bank said today that 56,239 current and deposit accounts were closed in the two banks in the four weeks to the end of December, down 27% on the numbers closed in November due to reduced activity over the Christmas period.

This brings the total number of accounts closed last year at the two lenders to 614,875.

Of these, 320,033 were current accounts and 294,842 were deposit accounts, the Central Bank noted.

Deposits held in Ulster Bank and KBC Bank have fallen significantly, today's figures show, with the pace of transfers and withdrawals speeding up during the year.

Total Irish household deposits held in the two banks stood at €4.8 billion at the end of November, down by an average of €1.6 billion a month over the previous three months.

Today's figures from the Central Bank also show that a total of 923,632 accounts were opened last year as Ulster Bank and KBC Bank Ireland customers moved to new banks.

The Central Bank said that most of these new accounts were current accounts - 662,035.

It noted that the number of new account openings at the three remaining banks here - Bank of Ireland, AIB and Permanent TSB - were almost twice the average number of openings in the previous three years.

Those credit unions which are authorised to provide current account services also issued 57,000 new cards in the first ten months of 2022, the Central Bank added.

A total of 41,162 accounts were opened in the four weeks to the end of December, down 38% compared to November, the Central Bank added.

In November, Ulster Bank began freezing and closing the accounts of the first customers who it had given six months notice to earlier in the year and who had not acted on it.

Today the bank said it will start the freezing of personal and commercial customer accounts with higher levels of activity on or after 2 February.