Overview of Banks in Ireland
The Irish banking system operates on a basis similar to the UK banking system. Currently, there are 64 banks in Ireland. 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 positive, 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 are:
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. It also offers various insurance products and operates through a network of 200 branches across Ireland and offices in the UK and US.
In 2016, the bank reported total assets of US$113 billion and a net profit US$1.97 billion.
Bank of Ireland
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 11,000 staff in its 250 branches.
As of 2016, the bank’s total assets were US$114 billion and total income was US$3,880 million.
Ulster Bank Ireland
Founded in 1836, Ulster Bank Ireland is a subsidiary of 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 2,400 staff.
In 2016, the bank’s total assets amounted to US$43 billion and net profit reached US$44 million.
DePfa Bank was established in 1922 and is a subsidiary of FMS Wertmanagement AoR. The bank provides banking, financial, and related services to public sector clients worldwide. It also acts as a special purpose vehicle for Tier 1 capital raising.
In 2016, the bank reported total assets of US$33 billion and a net loss of US$2.37 million.
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.
As of 2015, the bank’s total assets were US$15.37 billion and net profit was US$230 million.
Established in 1973, KBC Bank 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.
In 2016, the bank’s total assets amounted to US$15 billion and net profit reached US$268 million.
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.
In 2016, the bank reported total assets of US$1,019 billion and operating profit of US$22 million.
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).
As of 2016, the group’s total assets were US$28 billion and operating profit was US$547 million.
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.
In 2016, the Danske Group’s total assets amounted to US$557 billion and operating profit reached US$3.16 billion. Danske Bank Ireland posted an operating income US$331 million.
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.
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This has been CFI’s guide to the top banks in Ireland. For anyone looking for a career in banking, this list is a great place to start your networking. Please also see these additional resources: