The Bank of Ireland (Irish: Banc na hÉireann), officially known as the Governor and Company of the Bank of Ireland is a commercial bank operation in Ireland, which is one of the 'Big Four' in both parts of the island.
Historically the premier banking organisation in Ireland, today Bank of Ireland is number two to Allied Irish Banks（愛爾蘭聯合銀行）. The Bank occupies a unique position in Irish banking history. At the core of the modern-day group is the old Bank of Ireland, the ancient institution established by royal charter in 1783. Bank of Ireland is the oldest bank in Ireland. From the beginning, it was connected closely with the leading banking family in Dublin, the Huguenot La Touche family. A member of that family - David La Touche - was the first Governor.
The historic institution as well as being a commercial bank - a deposit-taker and a credit institution - was a Central Bank in embryo, much like the earlier established Bank of Scotland and Bank of England（英格蘭銀行）. Bank of Ireland operated the Exchequer Account and during the nineteenth century acted as something of a banker of last resort. Historically Bank of Ireland is a pillar of the Establishment, an Ascendancy institution. It has its historic peculiarities - such as the titles of the chairman of the board of directors (the Governor) and the title of the board itself (the Court of Directors).
The bank was formed by an Act of the Irish Parliament in 1782 to support public and commercial finances in Ireland. The headquarters of the bank until the 1970s was the impressive, Bank of Ireland building in Dublin. This building hosted the Irish Parliament before the Act of Union 1800.Today visitors can still view the impressive Irish House of Lords chamber within the building. The banks headquarters is now a modern building in Baggot Street, Dublin, but the Bank of Ireland in College Green remains a working branch. A little known fact is that when the headquarters was built, it caused the world price of copper to rise - such was the usage in the building.
In 1958, the Bank took over the Hibernian Bank Limited and in 1965 the National Bank of Ireland Limited, and rebranded them as Bank of Ireland.
Although the bank is headquartered in Dublin, it has operations throughout the Republic of Ireland and the United Kingdom, particularly Northern Ireland, where it prints its own banknotes in Pounds Sterling. In Great Britain, the bank expanded largely through the takeover of the Bristol and West Building Society in 1996. It also provides financial services for the Post Office throughout the UK.
From the foundation of the Irish Free State until December 31, 1971, the Bank of Ireland was the banker of the Irish Government, but not the central bank. The central bank was only formed twenty years after the Irish Free State and is called the Central Bank of Ireland. In 1956 the Bank was authorised to operate the Prize Bond scheme, and continued to do so until 1989.
On 20 March 2005, Bank of Ireland announced 2,000 job cuts in a move to reduce its cost base, this coming despite profits in excess of €1 billion for that financial year
The Group provides a broad range of financial services in Ireland to the personal, commercial, industrial and agricultural sectors. These include checking and deposit services, overdrafts, term loans, mortgages, international asset financing, leasing, instalment credit, debt financing, foreign exchange facilities, interest and exchange rate hedging instruments, executor, trustee, stockbroking, life assurance and investment fund management, fund administration and custodial services and financial advisory services, including mergers and acquisitions and underwriting. With the acquisition of New Ireland Assurance in December 1997 the Group has access to additional distribution channels and products for its life assurance and pensions business. The group provides services in multiple currencies, but primarily in the Euro.
The Bank operates telephone and online banking services for its customers under the name 365 phone and 365 online respectively. The telephone banking service was launched in 1996 and was formerly known as Banking 365. The online banking service followed in 1997 and was initially known as Banking 365 online. It also offers the Laser payment system.
The Group markets and sells its products on a domestic basis through the most extensive nationwide distribution network in Ireland and its direct telephone banking service. The Group has built a market share among credit institutions in Ireland of over 20% of resources and loans outstanding.
In the United Kingdom the Group has an arrangement with the Post Office for whom they provide the majority of the available banking services such as credit cards and loans.
They formerly operated through Bristol & West plc which was acquired in July 1997, and the Group's retail branch network. Bristol & West operates in selected markets and provides mortgages, savings and investments products to customers. On the 21 September 2005 the retail and contact centre network was sold to Britannia Building Society. The Bank has still retained the right to use the Bristol & West name to sell Mortgages.
Operations in the rest of the world are primarily undertaken by Bank of Ireland Asset Management who provide fund management services to institutions and pension funds in Germany, Australia, Canada, Japan and the United States.
List currently only covers from 1995 onwards, and is not complete
- 1995年，19 December: Bank of Ireland merge First New Hampshire Bank with Royal Bank of Scotland's（蘇格蘭皇家銀行） Citizens Financial Group
- 1996年，16 April: Bank of Ireland buys the Bristol & West building society for €882m, which keeps its own brand.
- 1999年，22 May: It is announced Alliance & Leicester is in merger talks with the Bank of Ireland. 17 June: It is announced that merger talks with Alliance & Leicester have been called off.
- 2000年，31 July: It is announced that Bank of Ireland is to acquire Chase de Vere.
- 2002年，17 May: Bank of Ireland acquires Iridian, the US investment manager, which doubles the size of its asset management business.
- 2005年，21 September: Bank of Ireland completes the sale of the Bristol and West branch and Direct Savings (Contact Centre) to Britannia Building Society. This is the first re - mutualisation of a former Mutal company. Britannia promises that there will be no compulsory redundancies.