Some banks are charging customers three-figure sums when they request duplicates of their bank statements, despite promoting accounts on a no-fee basis.

One Sunday Tribune reader recently found himself landed with a bill for €127 for 12 months worth of statements requested from Bank of Ireland. The bank charges customers €3.80 for the first page of the statement and €2.50 per page thereafter.

A spokesperson for Bank of Ireland said customers are made fully aware of the charges when ordering statements and are encouraged to do a further search for the originals. Customers are advised to safely store their monthly bank statements to avoid charges, she said.

Most banks require original statements if a customer is applying for a large loan or mortgage leaving consumers with no choice but to pay the charges if they have failed to keep records.

The charges where branded "outrageous" by the chairman of the Consumer Association of Ireland, Michael Kilcoyne, who accused the banks of taking advantage of customers by imposing exorbitant charges for a service requiring minimal effort.

"These charges are ridiculous. It makes a mockery of the idea of free fees – all they are doing is printing out the pages and paying for a stamp. A charge of a couple of euro would cover costs. It is pure greed. They are taking any opportunity they get to rip off the customers. It is outrageous that the banks are still doing what they like and there is no control over them despite the money that has been pumped into them," he said.

Bank of Ireland is not alone in imposing the charges – all bar one of the major banks and building societies charge for duplicate statements.

Fees vary wildly. Ulster Bank is the most expensive with a charge of €3.81 for the first page and €2.54 per page thereafter. Ulster Bank customers in the North pay a £10 (€10.70) fee per request. Customers with an eSavings account can print valid bank statements from their online accounts free of charge, a spokesperson said.

AIB customers are charged €2.54 per page but a spokesman was quick to point out that customers who signed up for eStatements could print out valid bank statements going back two years at no extra charge. AIB customers signed up to the service do not receive paper copies of their bank statements, with the bank making a charitable donation on their behalf.

Permanent TSB customers are also charged a per-page fee of €2.54. Halifax customers are charged €5 per request irrespective of the number of statements required, while NIB customers pay €4 per month of statements.

EBS customers can request a printed statement free of charge, though charges apply in exceptional cases.

Charges for Duplicate Statements

Ulster Bank: €3.81 for first page; €2.54 per page thereafter

Bank of Ireland: €3.80 for first page; €2.50 per page thereafter

AIB: €2.54 per page (eStatements can be printed for fee and are acceptable in loan applications)

Permanent TSB: €2.50 per page

NIB: €4 per month of statements

Halifax: €5 per request

EBS: Free on request, charges apply in exceptional cases