Removal of in-branch banking services disproportionately impacts rural communities - Claire Kerrane TD
Sinn Féin spokesperson for Rural Development Claire Kerrane TD has said that the announcement by AIB today that it will turn 70 of its 170 branches into cashless outlets, will disproportionately impact rural communitieswhen it comes to accessing banking services locally.
Responding to the announcement, Teachta Kerrane said:
"The changes announced by AIB today will see cash, cheque and ATM services removed from 70 branches across the State, the majority of which are in rural towns.
"While AIB cite increased digital usage as one reason for these changes, there are many vulnerable customers especially living in rural areas who are not given sufficient consideration when decisions like these are made.
"In some towns where the AIB branch will be impacted, customers will have to travel 30km and more to access a branch with full cash services. This is not as simple with poor public transport in many rural parts - people simply will not get there.
"Accessing cash is a fairly basic service provided by any Bank and the loss of these services will impact on customers and businesses.
"The removal of the ATMs in particular will make it much more difficult for customers accessing cash in these rural towns.
"I acknowledge that AIB, in announcing this today are expanding their relationship with An Post and I do welcome this however, this is not a solution in itself.
"This announcement today reminds us again that we need to have a national conversation about banking in Ireland especially for vulnerable customers in this digital age and for people living in rural communities.”