RegSol Blog

Central Bank Requires Improvements to Retail Banks’ Customer Support Phone Lines

February 2022

In June of 2021, the Central Bank of Ireland, CBI, wrote to the sector to highlight their customer protection expectations. This letter was a timely reminder given all the changes happening in the sector including the planned exits of Ulster Bank and KBC from the Irish market. The CBI subsequently carried out a review of call waiting times on the customer support phone lines in the main retail banks. The review assessed call wait times, call abandonment rates and resourcing levels across the retail banks.

Main Findings:

  • Average call wait times on some customer support phone lines were excessive
  • Some banks experienced unexpected spikes/demand on customer support phone lines that contributed to some of the excess call wait times.
  • The longest call wait times in some of the retail banks was unacceptably high, with customers waiting over two hours in some cases.
  • Resourcing levels varied considerably across the retail banks, and it is clear in some cases that resourcing for customer support phone lines was insufficient.
  • The number of customers abandoning calls was high – one phone line had an abandonment rate over 50%.
There is a clear need for action to be taken by the sector and the CBI “will expect firms to report to it on the implementation of these measures over the course of the year.”

For the full press release and link to the June 2021 letter, click here:
Central Bank requires improvements to retail banks’ customer support phone lines

By Eilish Larkin - Regulatory Consultant