Competition may be opening up in other sectors of the economy such as utilities but when it comes to banks, the sector is shrinking as the foreigners fold their tents and get the hell out of Dodge.

The consequences for current account holders are stark, as banks seek to rebuild their balance sheets, according to The Sunday Business Post, which quotes a report published last week by a sub-committee of the Financial Regulator’s Consumer Consultative Panel.

The report expressed concerns the remaining players in the market could abuse their positions of dominance to push through higher fees.

Emma Kennedy, the newspaper’s personal finance correspondent, says there is plenty of evidence to back up these concerns.

“The sequence of events in the last 18 months or so would attest to the expert panel’s view. First mortgage rates went up. Then other types of borrowing followed suit. Before consumers could draw their breath, banks started to chip away at deposit rates. And now it’s the turn of current accounts to feel the turn of the screw.”

From January, you will have just five options on where to have your current account.


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