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Bank of America in Ireland?

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Jan 31st, 2007, 08:42 AM
  #1
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Bank of America in Ireland?

I have seen someone mention once on another thread that BOA has a reciprocal agreement with Bank of Ireland, I assume similar to the one they have with Barclays, etc. However, when I checked out the BOA web site and emailed customer service, they mentioned nothing about Ireland. I'll be traveling there next June - can anyone tell me if this is true? I've searched on the forum and only found that one mention, so I'm reluctant to rely too much on it - but it would certainly be convenient to avoid those withdrawal charges!
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Jan 31st, 2007, 09:42 AM
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Jen,

That was my post that you read. I just spoke with one of my bank representatives who advised that they discontinued the reciprocal with Bank of Ireland as of the first of this year. They still have the one for Barclay but I am not sure that they have branches in Ireland.

I hope this clears up the confusion.

Slan Go Foill,

Bit Devine
Cowboy Craic
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Jan 31st, 2007, 11:49 AM
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Oh, sad. I was hoping they just didn't advertise it for whatever reason. I don't think there are any Barclays in Ireland (at least based on their web site). Thanks so much for checking!
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Feb 1st, 2007, 04:07 PM
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My daughter and I went to the BOA near us yesterday. She's leaving Tuesday for a four month internship in Ireland. She'd gone in there a week or two ago and was told that BOA has a branch in Dublin. So she was hoping that by opening an account here, she'd be able to bank there without incurring any charges.

Well, when we went back yesterday, we were told that the branch in Dublin is strictly for business banking. They do have ATMs which can be used without paying a fee. But that's the only place in Ireland with a BOA ATM.

We're still struggling with trying to figure out how she's going to handle her banking. Even though she started working on this internship nearly a year ago, things weren't settled until last week! So, although she'd made some preliminary inquiries, she really hadn't done any serious checking on the banking thing until the past few days.

So far we're not finding any banks around here that have reciprocal agreements with the Bank of Ireland. Or any that offer ATM cards without transaction fees for Ireland. The closest we've come so far is WAMU. They do charge a $3 fee per use. But their currency conversion fee is only 1%.

It's beginning to look like she'll have to open an account at the Bank of Ireland when she gets there. But we have no idea how difficult (or expensive) that is when you're starting with US funds.
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Feb 1st, 2007, 04:29 PM
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I wonder,CAPH52 if you should start another thread about opening an account in Ireland. I remember reading on the board about young people going to school in Dublin and in Cork, maybe they could give you some help. It seems a shame to have to open an account for just 4 months. Good luck, Joan
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Feb 1st, 2007, 05:19 PM
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Thanks, Joan. I did start one in the Lounge. I know there are a lot of Fodorites who "hang out" there who've had kids go overseas. And since it's one of those sort of borderline travel issues, that seemed like a good place for it.

I've gotten several responses. But nothing that completely matches up to DD's situation. Due to one of the responses, we do still want to check out LaSalle Bank though.

The thing is, besides the issue of not wanting to pay ATM fees for four months, she's going to have "bills" to pay. She's doing this through her school. But it's a very individualized thing. She had to pretty much make all the arrangements herself. Although, fortunately, the school did hook her up with a woman in Ireland who arranges these things. But this is not a situation where we pay the school and they pay everything. DD will have to pay the woman in Ireland when she arrives as well as rent, some sort of a fee (Visa sort of thing) to the government, etc. So she may be better off with an account there anyway so that she can write checks for these things. Otherwise she's looking at very large ATM withdrawals.

Of course, the ideal situation would be a bank here that has a reciprocal agreement with the Bank of Ireland. But, as I've mentioned before, we're not having any luck with that.

DD wrote to the assistant to the woman who's been taking care of things in Ireland. He seems to answer e-mails much more promptly than she does! We're hoping that maybe he can shed some light on how other students handle these things.

I tell you, this thing has been quite an education and she hasn't even left yet! I think when it's all over maybe she needs to write some sort of book for other students who do these independent internship things!

But I do appreciate your suggestion, Joan. If we still don't have any answers by tomorrow, I think I just may go ahead and post something here on the Europe forum.

And I apologize for hijacking your thread, jent103!
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Feb 1st, 2007, 11:10 PM
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CAPH52, I remember the old days when my parents would be travelling for months at a time, they'd check into an American Express office to pick up there mail and get money. I guess they had traveler checks.

jent103, Thanks for letting us chat. I don't think the Ireland banks charge for using their ATMs, I believe it our banks back here that charges something. If you would type in ATMs IRELAND up in search ( go to Ireland first) you'll find tons of threads on this. Joan
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Feb 2nd, 2007, 05:04 AM
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My husband worked for an Irish company for a while and had to open an Irish bank account to get paid. He chose the Allied Irish Bank and they were a nightmare - getting anything organised took ages & they usually got it wrong. So tell her not to go there.
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Feb 2nd, 2007, 06:14 AM
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there's no such thing as an international bank. i still have a b of a account from the time i worked in the US. i can't do anything at their london branch. they might as well be separate banks.

hsbc is the 'world bank' but that's a joke. they are also like separate companies in each country.

there are a significant number of internationals who require true cross border banking but unfortunately this is too difficult given the many banking regulations around the world.
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Feb 2nd, 2007, 08:25 AM
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CAPH52,

If you have a local credit union, check if they charge for foreign withdrawals. Mine does not, but does for non-credit union withdrawals in the States, which is why I use a BofA account when home.
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Feb 2nd, 2007, 08:37 AM
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Opening a Bank of Ireland account when you come from overseas is easy. We did it with absolutely no hassle, and opened it with foreign currency; Canadian dollars in this case. You will need proof of identity eg passport and proof of address, eg a utility bill. It was all done in a few minutes; and no currency exchange fees if you are a BOI client.
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Feb 2nd, 2007, 10:50 AM
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Thanks so much to all of you for your input! I appreciate the heads up about Allied Irish Bank and HSBC. And thanks for sharing your experience, anchoress. Unfortunately, we don't have access to a credit union, Michael.

DD heard from the woman in Ireland this morning. She said DD will be able to easily open an account there through which she'll have an ATM/debit card but no checks. She said the best thing is to have money wired into that account from a bank here.

So we're going back to WAMU this afternoon. When we went the other day we found out that they charge $3 per overseas ATM usage, but their conversion fee is only 1%. And they will wire funds internationally for no fee (including conversion fees). So it's looking like that's the way to go. DD will have their ATM card to use until she gets the Bank of Ireland account open. And then she can have me wire funds from her account here to the Bank of Ireland account. And then, of course, she'll be able to use the Bank of Ireland ATM card without any fees.

She currently has an account with an ATM card. But their conversion fees are higher (3%) and, as nearly as we can tell, they don't wire funds.

Please keep your fingers crossed for us! This has been the week from hell and it would certainly be nice to have this one thing taken care of!

Again my apologies, jent103!
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Feb 2nd, 2007, 11:25 AM
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CAPH52, I have fingers on both hands crossed. I'm happy you have money marked off your list..
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Feb 2nd, 2007, 11:52 AM
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CAPH - please, no apologies necessary. I'm glad you were able to get a bit of input, at least! I've read several of your threads lately and know you've been trying to get everything squared away. I'm sure things will get worked out and your daughter will have a fabulous time!
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Feb 2nd, 2007, 01:17 PM
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Thank you, Joan and jent!

Well, we got the account set up and it looks like it's going to work very well. In fact, I was so impressed that if my daughter is as happy with this as I think she's going to be, I just may move my husband's and my accounts there!

I sure wish I could give you the name of a bank that doesn't charge transaction fees to use their card in Ireland, jent. But I'm beginning to think that the only way to do that is through a credit union. As I said, at least WAMU only charges 1% conversion fees as opposed to the 3% that so many banks seem to charge. And, FWIW, they don't charge to use other banks' ATMs in the US.

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Feb 5th, 2007, 02:45 AM
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I am confused? You set up an accounnt in Ireland from America? It is very difficult to set up an accoung especially for non nationals due to the money laundering regulations. I have seen people driven to dementia trying to open accounts and they take time. I doubt she will be given a debit facility as she has no credit histoty here but she can get bank drafts to pay for things. There iss no known american bank to me here that is a retail bank only the commercial ends exist for US banks. Remember she is only here for 4 months don't go crazy opening accounts if you can do it from the U.S. i.e. credit card and ATM card.
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Feb 5th, 2007, 04:13 AM
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Yes, I'm surprised too. DH eventually had to fly to Dublin for the day to get his account there sorted out & even then he had to trot between his employer's office & the bank several times, until the bank was happy with the letter saying he worked there.
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Feb 5th, 2007, 06:09 AM
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No, she hasn't opened an account there yet. But she was told by the woman who arranged her internship that she will be able to when she gets there. She deals with foreign students all the time. So we're certainly hoping that she knows what she's talking about! But I guess we'll be finding out soon. I'll keep you posted.
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Feb 5th, 2007, 06:46 AM
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I probably should have added that our impression is that this is some sort of student account with all sorts of restrictions.
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Feb 5th, 2007, 07:35 AM
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She is on an internship though and not linked to a college? If so then no she will not be a student and it will be very tough. I have seen several people take 3 weeks just to get an account and you need letters and a bill from where you stay to prove tyou are resident. I do not think a non resident can open an account here (this is all the money laundering regulations). My mother is a citizen but not resident and I had to open a joint account for us in order for her to get one.
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