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What is the "maintenance fee" at an Irish bank?

The "idle tower" was (is?) a vertical ghost estate funded by Irish banking and paid for by the taxpayer...

Autumn 2009 —

I'd wondered about the "maintenance fee." I'd mentioned it, but never pressed anybody for an answer.

The maintenance fee came due every three months, and €12 came out of my bank account. When I arrived here in 2001, this was a normal part of how banks operated. I guess I just thought of it as "maybe a governmental surcharge."

It was only after I'd left my second Irish bank, and had opened an account at one of the new local branches that I began to really wonder, and decided to ask.

The manager at the North Main Street branch of Permanent TSB in Cork city was entirely gracious and friendly, and told me that in his 19 years on the job, I'd been the first to ask.

The maintenance fee is what a customer pays the bank to maintain an account.

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