Both residents and non-residents may open a bank account in Ireland. The major banks have branches in most cities and towns throughout the country. Having chosen a bank, it is easiest to open an account in person at the relevant branch.
At least two pieces of identity are needed to open a bank account (at least one piece of ID must have a photograph). These can include:
Other documents required are:
If it is not possible to provide proof of address, the bank may accept a letter from the employer confirming the employee has recently arrived in Ireland and has started work, but is unable to provide evidence of address at present.
Banks may also ask for proof of employment, residence permit or visa and PPS (Personal Public Service) number and for details of any previous bank accounts held.
An unemployed person can open a bank account, and one can be opened without depositing any money; however, quarterly maintenance fees may apply. Check with individual banks for details.
After opening a bank account, a debit card (also called a Laser card) is usually issued. Credit cards are normally only issued to those with an established credit rating.
Banks in Ireland require information about an individual's financial status in order to establish a credit rating for them. Newcomers will therefore have to provide as much information as possible from their original cor previous country of residence. It is advisable to ask banks in the that country (if they also operate on a credit rating scheme) to provide these details, but it is at the bank's discretion as to whether or not they take this information into account.
It may take some months for newcomers to build up a credit rating. The Irish Credit Bureau (ICB) is responsible for operating the credit rating system.
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