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Bank of Ireland International Transfers

Bank of Ireland is one of the leading ‘Big Bour’ Irish banks. Owned by the government, the bank has its headquarters in Dublin, but also operates internationally and offers a variety of services to customers across the world. Customers can make cross borders payments either online or at the branch. Here is our guide on everything you need to know about the Bank of Ireland, including the exchange rate margins charged by the bank and the speed at which it processes international transfers.

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About Bank of Ireland

The Bank of Ireland is the oldest Irish commercial bank, having begun its operations all the way back in 1783. Other than the Republic of Ireland, the bank has a presence in France, Germany, the United Kingdom, the United States and Spain. There are over 45 currencies available on the bank’s 365 online banking service, meaning the bank can help with transfers to most major countries around the world.

Bank of Ireland Exchange rates and fees

The Bank of Ireland allows customers to make local and international transfers in person at the branch or online. However, the fees differ in each case – here is what to expect in rates and fees.

Exchange rates

Bank of Ireland adds a margin of about 4.3% above the mid-market rate you see on Google or Reuters when making inter currency transfers. You can negotiate a more favourable rate when making large transfers through the bank, but by and large the margins charged by the Bank of Ireland are quite high.


Making international transfers costs £15 online and £25 when visiting a branch. Customers receiving funds from other countries into their Bank of Ireland accounts are charged £6.

Additional costs

The recipient bank may charge additional inward SWIFT fees and agency fees depending on the destination and the number of intermediaries involved in their transfer.

Bank of Ireland pros and cons

While considered the largest and safest bank in Ireland, there are certain things you need to watch out for as you evaluate whether to use Bank of Ireland services.

Large asset size: As of December 2019, the bank had €132 billion in asset size meaning more stability.
Wide disbursing network: Bank of Ireland allows transfers to almost every country around the world. In some cases, intermediaries are used.
Negotiable rates for large transfers: When making large transfers (above £10,000) the Bank of Ireland fixed fees become proportionally negligible.
Account opening restrictions: You can only open a Bank of Ireland account if you are a resident in any of the countries where the bank has a physical presence.
Low daily transaction limit: The maximum funds you can send online to other countries is £20,000.
Limited number of currencies: The 365 online banking platform has only 45 currencies available.
High exchange rate margins: The 4.3% average exchange rate margin the bank charges can quickly add up especially in large transfers.
Fixed fees: While the fixed transfer fee appears nominal for large transfers, people making small transfers are better off with specialist money transfer companies.

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Answers to key questions about Bank of Ireland

There are important things you need to be clear about as you think of using Bank of Ireland for your transfers. Here’s a quick run through of what you need to know.

Can I open a Bank of Ireland account in any country?

No. You can only open an account if you are a resident in any of the countries where the bank has a physical presence.

Does Bank of Ireland have an app?

Yes, the bank has a mobile banking app available as a free download on both the Play Store and App Store. Among the app’s features are:

  • Making payments locally and across borders
  • Checking transaction history 
  • Viewing and exporting statements
  • Managing payee details
  • Cancelling payments

Are there transfer limits?

Yes. Customers can make online transfers up to a maximum of £20,000 daily. Transfers above £20,000 can be made at the branch.

How long do transfers take with Bank of Ireland?

Most EU transfers are delivered within 1 business day. Transfers to places further away like the Philippines and India can take up to 3 working days.

What customer support options are available?

Customers can get support through any of the following avenues:

  • Email: You can send an email to contactus@boi.com for assistance.
  • Telephone: Anytime from Monday to Friday, 9am-5pm, customers can call 0818 365 365 from the Republic of Ireland, 0345 7 365 555 from Great Britain, or + 353 1 404 4000 from outside the UK to get assistance.
  • Online: Customers can log in to their 365 online portals to get customer support

How to open an account and transfer money with Bank of Ireland

The bank allows for account opening and money transfers at the branch or online. Here is a summary of how to go about it.

Opening an account

1. About you: Choose the branch you want to open the account, enter your name, contact details, address, and your nationality.

2. Employment details: Enter your employment status, level of income, and tax residency details.

3. Review your details: Check that all the details are correct as entered and submit the form.

Sending money

1. Log into your 365 online banking platform

2. Click on ‘Money Transfer’

3. Choose ‘International Transfer’

4. Select the account you want to pay from

5. Select the beneficiary

6. Enter the transfer amount and any special instructions for the beneficiary.

7. Confirm the details and complete the payment.


Bank of Ireland is among the leading banks in Ireland and has been in operation for close to two and a half centuries. Its large asset size, wide disbursing network, and secure online platform make it a go-to partner when making online transfers.

Having said that, customers making transfers often find the bank’s fixed costs and exchange rate margins to be high compared to other options, and delivery times longer compared to alternatives like money transfer companies. To help you get the best deal on your next transfer, all you need to do is enter the details of the transfer you wish to make into our comparison tool and we’ll show you your best options in seconds.