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National Irish Bank (NIB) ( ) is a commercial bank in the Republic of Irelandmarker, one of the traditional Big Four. In December 2004 Danske Bank agreed to purchase National Irish Bank (and Northern Bank) from the National Australia Bank for GB£967m (approx €1400m).

It is the fourth largest main street bank in the Republic of Ireland and offers a full range of commercial and personal banking products. It is part of the Laser payment system.

The bank suffered a scandal in its personal banking division in the 1990s (see history, below). However it has undergone substantial change as a result of its acquisition by Danske Bank, with a new look and product offering unveiled on 18 April 2006. It ceased to be an Irish private limited company by shares on 1 April 2007, and now trades as a division of Danske Bank. It has 66 branches, 649 employees and 167,000 customers.


National Irish Bank was originally the Republic of Ireland branch network of Northern Bank, one of the oldest banks in Ireland (dating back to 1824). National Irish Bank was created as a separate entity in 1986, at first under the name Northern Bank (Ireland) Limited, when the Midland Bank, UKmarker separated Northern Bank's operations in the Republic of Ireland from its Northern Irelandmarker business.

In 1987, both banks were acquired by National Australia Bank Limited. In 1988 the Republic of Ireland operation was renamed National Irish Bank Limited whilst Northern Bank Limited remains the name of the Northern Ireland operation. Nonetheless, a single management team continued to run both banks, which shared many services and back office functions.

During this era, the logo of the National Irish Bank was that of the National Australia Bank (at the time), except that the red star had been recoloured green, and "Irish Bank" was added alongside the word "National". The original Northern Bank (Ireland) logo had been the Midland Bank griffin.

In 1998, an RTÉmarker programme claimed that National Irish Bank had been overcharging customers and assisting in tax avoidance schemes. Inspectors were appointed by the High Court in Dublin. Their conclusions were:

  • Bogus non-resident accounts or fictitiously named accounts were opened and maintained in some branches enabling customers to evade tax

  • Clerical Medical Insurance (CMI) policies were promoted as an investment for funds undisclosed to the Revenue Commissioners

  • Special Savings Accounts had Deposit Interest Retention Tax (DIRT) deducted at a reduced rate. Note: this point may be incorrect as the legal SSA product was designed to have DIRT deducted at a lower rate. Budget legislation over the past number of years has brought the reduced DIRT rate up and the standard DIRT down to a point where they both currently meet i.e.: 20%.

  • There was improper charging of interest or fees to some customers. (The bank has refunded all customers who the Inspectors alleged had been mischarged.)

Following the Inspectors' report, the Director of Corporate Enforcement took disqualification proceedings against nine former NIB personnel, none of whom has been employed by NIB since the 1990s.

Changes under Danske

On 1 March 2005 Danske formally took control of National Irish Bank. It announced as its first act that the Northern Bank and National Irish Bank would be fully separated from each other, with a new management team appointed to National Irish Bank. Some shared back office services will remain. The bank changed over to the Danske Bank technology platform.

The bank adopted the logo of Danske Bank, albeit with the word "Danske" replaced by "National Irish". The bank was formally relaunched on 18 April, with a new product offering, and a revamped internet banking system. Among the innovations is the use of text messages to communicate with customers.

In June 2005 Andrew Healy was appointed chief executive officer of National Irish Bank.

In January 2007 Danske Bank announced that the banking business of National Irish Bank Limited would be transferred to Danske Bank A/S, Irish Branch. The practical effect of this is that from 1 April 2007 National Irish Bank is no longer regulated by the Irish Financial Services Regulatory Authority but by the Danish Financial Services Authority instead, as NIB is now be a division of Danske Bank rather than a separate subsidiary. The business continues to be operated under the brand of National Irish Bank.

Tiger robbery, August 2006

The Killestermarker, Dublinmarker branch (known as Howth Road branch) of National Irish Bank was the scene of a 'tiger robbery' on 29 August 2006 when a 23-year old employee was kidnapped by an armed gang. The bank handed over a ransom of €270,000 without informing or involving the Garda Síochána. The Garda Siochana heavily criticized this action, stating that it leaves the bank exposed in the future to replica attacks . However, the Howth Road branch has since became a cashless branch.


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