Move to “cashless” banks will hurt the vulnerable - Doherty
Sinn Féin Finance Spokesperson Pearse Doherty TD has condemned plans by Bank of Ireland and Ulster Bank to move to more “cashless” banks. He said the moves would hurt the most vulnerable including the elderly who will simply no longer use banking services.
Deputy Doherty said;
"Whether removing cash services altogether or reducing them down to certain days of the week this drive to minimising the choice for customers at banks will hurt vulnerable customers including the elderly. It is simply about maximising profit regardless of the social impact. It is inevitable that these moves will lead some people to return to dangerous “under the bed “ deposits.
"It is noticeable that when Bank of Ireland first mooted this, the Minister for Finance made it clear he wasn’t happy. Now as he winds down the government seems to have lost its voice.
"This will only empower the banks to further reduce choice to the detriment of the consumer. The Minister before he leaves office must flex his muscles on this issue.
"His silence is as good as a nod in this case. Rural Ireland in particular will be affected as yet another service is effectively removed. Government talk about revitalising rural Ireland really does ring hollow when we see how banking services are being systematically stripped away from towns and villages.
"The banks are due in to the Finance Committee over the coming weeks where I am sure they will be quizzed on these cutbacks. We should be clear though that the banks are getting away with this because of a political nod from government.
"With the pending sale of AIB the banks will only be further emboldened to drop any pretence of providing any social element to the community."