Dutch bank Rabobank is to set up a retail finance arm in Ireland with the launch of RaboDirect, a new Internet bank for Irish savers and investors.
RaboDirect will initially provide an instant demand deposit account attracting a competitive, variable flat rate of three per cent and offer low cost investment products. All transactions over the platform are secured using Digipass authentication tokens from Dutch security firm Vasco.
The online service will be backed up by a customer contact centre which will operate from 8am-8pm Mon-Fri and from 10am-5pm on Saturday.
RaboDirect already claims 1.9 million active account holders in the Netherlands and 36,000 in Belgium. The Irish operation is the bank's second overseas market after Belgium in 2002.
Greg McAweeney, RaboDirect says the virtual bank can afford to offer consistently higher rates than bricks and mortar competitors.
"There is a clear gap between the financial products and services currently available and what the public want," he says. "We can offer a rate 10 times the average deposit account which will bring real competition into the market."
Ralf Dekker, board member, Rabobank International states: "Ireland is the second overseas market in which we have launched and our growing commitment to Internet banking will see RaboBank Group extend into more markets worldwide."