Banks are usually open from around 10 am until 4 pm on weekdays, sometimes this is inclusive of an hour’s lunch break. However, some larger branches or those located in larger cities may have longer opening hours. Banks are almost always closed in Ireland on weekends and bank holidays, although some may be open for a half day (10 am to 1 pm) on Saturdays.
There are a large number of financial institutions providing banking services in Ireland. All banks in Ireland are regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland, including the supervision of all financial services and banking regulations. The largest bank based in Ireland is Allied Irish Banks (often referred to as AIB) and is currently over 70% owned by the government. AIB is one of the ‘Big Four’, referring to the main big banks in Ireland alongside Bank of Ireland, Ulster Bank and Permanent tsb. These institutions make up the majority of the banking landscape in the country. Smaller banks are also available and similarly offer a vast range of services for different banking purposes.
All Irish banks offer both online and phone banking besides visiting your local branch and each offers its customers the opportunity to withdraw cash, apply for credit/ debit cards and mortgages, etc. The vast majority of Irish banks offer commercial banking however corporate banking is also offered by a number of financial institutions - KBC and Bank of Ireland, to name a few.
Non-residents of Ireland can also open an account with an Irish bank since there are no limits on who can and cannot do so. However, most Irish banks will require you to make an appointment or visit a local branch in order to apply. To find the most suitable bank for you, it is recommended that you shop around before opening an account as different banks will offer different services and charge different rates to their customers.
If you are already an account holder of an Irish bank and wish to transfer your money to another financial institution in the country, switching banks is relatively simple and is not a costly process. This is thanks to the switching code put in place by Central Banking of Ireland, a compulsory system allowing those to easily transfer to another bank in the event that your banking needs change.