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IBF highlights bank card growth Back  
The Irish Bankers Federation has highlighted the major growth trend in ATM bank cards in its annual review of activities.

Figures released by the IBF show that there was an estimated 3.2 million ATM cards in circulation in Ireland by the end of 2000 - equivalent to about one per head of population.

An estimated 167 million transactions were conducted during 200 using ATMs which is over a four-fold growth in the last nine years. According to the IBF, the total value of ATM transactions annually now stands at around IEP8.9 billion, the bulk of which is accounted for by cash withdrawals.

The IBF’s Review of Activities also show that 1.6 million credit cards were used for 69 million transactions to a total value of IEP4 billion last year alone. While this reflects very strong growth in credit ownership and usage right through the 1990s, any notion that cardholders are generally losing control of their spending is dispelled by Felix O’Regan, IBF’s Communications Manager.

‘These figures show that an average number of transactions per credit card has increased from 34 in 1998 to 43 in 2000 and the average spend per transaction from IEP57 to IEP58 over the same period. This indicated that cardholders are maintaining a fairly consistent and prudent approach to the use of their cards.’

The IBF’s figures also show substantial growth in the use of the Laser debit card since its launch a few years ago. A card base of some 800,000 accounted for 34 million transactions to a value of IEP1.3 billion in the year 2000 alone.

According to the IBF Review of Activities 2000 some 33, 000 people are now employed in banking and subsidiary businesses in Ireland. Employment in the sector has risen by over 60 per cent in the last decade.
During the last two years alone, 10,000 new recruits have been taken on. Speaking at the launch of the review Sean FitzPatrick, IBF president highlighted the contribution of the industry to the Irish economy.

‘During 1999, IEP1.9 billion was spent by banks in Ireland. Of this, IEP1 billion was in the form of wages and related payments and over IEP660 million was paid to the Government in various taxes.’

‘The contribution of IBF-member banks to the economy accounted for 4.4 per cent of our Gross National Product.’

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