The Minister for Finance, Michael McGrath T.D., has welcomed the intention announced by the Spanish bank, Bankinter, to seek regulatory approval to establish Avant Money as a branch with a full banking licence to serve Irish consumers.

The Minister said:

Today’s announcement is significant for the Irish banking market, and is very welcome news for households, businesses and consumers, who are the real winners from increased competition.

In 2022, my Department carried out a review of the retail banking sector in Ireland.

It recognised the need to protect competition in the retail banking market to best serve consumers’ interests.

The intention of another European bank, Bankinter, to establish a branch in Ireland to provide a range of banking products is a very welcome development in that regard.

and he continued:

I have on a number of occasions acknowledged the need for greater competition in the provision of retail banking services in Ireland.

It is essential that consumers have as much choice as possible when it comes to their engagement with financial service providers.

Today’s announcement by a significant European Bank is also a vote of confidence in the strength of the Irish economy. I expect the Irish economy will continue to grow over the coming years.

Our labour market is strong and our public finances are in good health. We are home to many of the world’s largest companies and we are continuing to win international investment.

I am pleased that Bankinter recognises the attractiveness of the Irish market.

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