This week’s drastic bank restructuring announcement leaves consumers with only two main state-supported Irish banks to choose from – Bank of Ireland and an AIB/EBS hybrid. Although there are two foreign owned banks still in the mix, Ulster Bank and National Irish Bank, only Ulster Bank is focusing on personal banking customers. The Sunday Times reports that in 2008 there were 14 mortgage banks and now there are only seven with just AIB, Bank of Ireland and KBC Homeloans open for business according to brokers. The dwindling choice also extends to current accounts. Seven banks had them in 2008 but that’s now reduced to five. Only Ulster Bank and National Irish Bank offer free banking with no conditions, according to the National Consumer Agency. For more information see

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