The Irish banking system operates similarly to the UK banking system. The Central Bank of Ireland (CBI) is responsible for traditional central banking functions, such as financial regulation. In 2010, a new CBI structure was created, replacing the three previously related entities: the Central Bank, the Financial Services Authority of Ireland, and the Financial Regulator.
All banks operating in Ireland must be licensed by the CBI. Banks in Ireland consist of:
Retail banks that provide general banking services, including comprehensive current account services and mortgage facilities
Banks that operate in the International Financial Services Centre (IFSC)
According to Moody’s, the outlook for the Irish banking system is stable, due to expectations that operating conditions for the country’s banks will continue to improve.
For anyone considering a career in banking in Ireland, this list of top banks in Ireland is a helpful guide on where to start. To learn more, see our lists of financial institutions.
The Top Banks in Ireland Include:
Allied Irish Bank
Established in 1825, Allied Irish Bank is the largest of the retail and commercial banks in Ireland. The bank is headquartered in Dublin and employs around 10,000 staff. It provides deposit products, loans, financial planning services, investments, pension cash management, online banking, foreign exchange, interest rate risk management, and mobile and tablet banking services.
The bank also offers various insurance products and operates through a network of 325 locations across Ireland and offices in the UK and US.
Net income: EUR -769 million (2020)
Total assets: EUR 110.4 billion (2020)
Bank of Ireland
Founded in 1783, The Bank of Ireland is considered one of the largest and safest banks in Ireland. The bank provides financial products and services such as mortgages, credit cards, savings, personal loans, current accounts, foreign exchange services, prepaid cards, and business banking products. It employs around 10,000 staff in its 250 branches.
Net income: EUR -721 million (2020)
Total assets: EUR 133.8 billion (2020)
Ulster Bank Ireland
Founded in 1836, Ulster Bank Ireland is a subsidiary of the Royal Bank of Scotland Group. The bank provides personal banking products and services, private banking services, as well as home and car insurance products. It currently employs around 2,200 staff.
Net income: EUR -431 million (2020)
Total assets: EUR 31.2 billion (2020)
EBS was founded in 1935 and is headquartered in Dublin. The bank provides mortgage lending, savings accounts, investments, and insurance arrangement services. It also offers life, specified illness, income protection, home, and mortgage payment protection insurance products, personal retirement savings accounts, and online banking services, through a network of 71 offices.
Net income: EUR 1.00 million (2019)
Total assets: EUR 12.0 billion (2019)
KBC Bank Ireland
Established in 1973, KBC Bank Ireland was created as an Irish Intercontinental Bank. It employs more than 1,000 individuals across its branches in Dublin, Cork, Limerick, Galway, Kilkenny, Waterford, and Kildare.
UniCredit was incorporated in 1995 and provides various banking and financial services in the Republic of Ireland, Italy, the United Kingdom, and Spain. It offers various loan products, credit and structured finance, and other forms of asset financing, and treasury products. Formerly known as UniCredito Italiano Bank (Ireland) PLC, the company changed its name to UniCredit Bank Ireland PLC in December 2007.
Net income: EUR 42.0 million (2020)
Total assets: EUR 12.9 billion (2020)
Permanent TSB Group
Permanent TSB Group provides retail financial services in the Irish domestic banking market. The group offers a broad range of banking products and financial services to its customers, including current accounts, retail and corporate and institutional deposits, residential mortgages, term loans, credit cards, overdrafts, as well as general insurance, pensions, investments, and life insurance (through a bancassurance arrangement).
Net income: EUR -162 million (2020)
Total assets: EUR 20.99 billion (2020)
Danske Bank was founded in 1986 in Dublin. It was formerly known as National Irish Bank. The bank is organized into three business units – Personal Banking, Business Banking, and Corporations and Institutions. It employs 1,289 staff as of 2016.
Citibank is the first of foreign banks in Ireland to open branches there. It came into existence in 1965. The bank provides various banking products and services, such as investment and trade services, custody and trustee services, fund administration, cash management, wealth management, corporate financing, and other financial services.
Dublin hosts a Citi Service Centre, one of four in the EMEA region that services businesses in more than 52 countries. Citibank Europe PLC is an Irish-regulated bank headquartered in Dublin and offers a diversified product base covering 20 global and regional financial products. The bank operates branches in Poland, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovakia, Romania, and Bulgaria.