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Danske Bank locks 10,000 Customers Out of Their Accounts

(CHARLIE WESTONThe bank has confirmed that 15,000 current accounts are to be “terminated” and the majority of customers who hold these accounts have yet to shut them down and switch to a new one.

Up to 10,000 people could find their funds frozen as they have failed to set up a new account with another bank. Danske said in October that it was closing its retail operations here.

Large numbers of those who have already started the switching process are also set to be locked out of their accounts before the new accounts can be set up.

A spokeswoman for the bank said: “Yes, some will be locked out of their accounts.”

The bank said it was closing the current accounts today but it later conceded that it would allow these customers to use their debit/ATM cards over the weekend.

But by Monday, the accounts will no longer operate.

Customers who contacted the Irish Independent claimed the whole shut-down of Danske’s retail operations was being handled in a “chaotic and shambolic” fashion.

Permanent TSB, to which large numbers are switching, is so worried about it that it is making arrangements to hand out €500 to each customer who has already signed up to switch from Danske but have chosen a date later this month for the tranfer to take effect.

Executives at Permanent TSB fear customers moving from Danske will have their funds and accounts frozen before the switches take place.

Under Central Bank rules, consumers are supposed to be able to agree a date for the transfer of accounts with their old and new banks and not to have it imposed upon them.

But banking sources accused Danske of imposing the shut-down for the first tranche of current accounts too hastily, even though many customers had nominated different dates for the transfer.

Irate customers said Danske was not answering phones, with others claiming the shut-down of its retail operations was being badly handled.