A welcomed decision has been made by Bank of Ireland, that Asylum seekers may now open their own bank accounts. This decision was made in light of an intervention by the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission.
The Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission requested an equality review, a statutory power which invokes a formal process, which led to Bank of Ireland’s change in policy.
Asylum seekers may now use issue specific paperwork issued by the State as a form of ID, for opening a bank account with Bank of Ireland. This decision now allows asylum seekers in Ireland to have access to basic financial services. Documents such as a Temporary Residence Certificate, a Stamp 4 Irish Residence Permits and/or Refugee Travel Document are now accepted by Bank of Ireland, who will issue guidance documents on its website next month for asylum seekers who wish to open bank accounts.
The Commission has called on all High Street banks to implement these changes in policy, in order to remove barriers for asylum seekers in opening bank accounts.