Banks trying to write local branches out of existence


It is now becoming apparent that some banks are pursuing a policy to write local branches out of existence, according to Deputy Paul Connaughton.
The East Galway TD said that he has been contacted by a number of bank customers who received phone calls from AIB headquarters in Dublin informing them that the bank could now provide banking facilities from 8 am to late in the evening if they chose to do their business directly with headquarters.
‘One north Galway AIB customer said he was surprised to get such a phone call. The caller said she was tasked with the responsibility to get local clients to directly deal with the Dublin office. As this manager put it, “we open from 8 am and we will provide banking service right up until 6 pm”. When asked by the customer what he should do if he had a normal banking query, which he would always go to his nearest AIB branch with, he was told that he should, in the first instance, ring the Dublin number and start the proceedings there.’
Deputy Connaughton said he understood why the banks had to reduce staff numbers because of the crash in the economy and it was a regrettable fact of life, not appreciated by every customer in any of the banks, that there would be less contact across the bank counter with customers, but to re-route even ordinary day-to-day routine banking matters to a Dublin office seemed to be a step towards reducing the number of local bank branches around the country.