Bank should appear before Oireachtas Finance Committee
AIB must give a solid commitment to customers on the future of cash services in Kildare, according to Fine Gael TD and Minister Martin Heydon.
Minister Heydon welcomed AIB’s reversal of their decision to remove cash services from a number of branches including Athy and Celbridge in Kildare and Edenderry & Tullow which serve many Kildare customers but also said that AIB must still come before the Oireachtas Finance Committee to explain how this announcement came about, causing such shock and worry to businesspeople and vulnerable customers all around the country.
Minister Heydon said, “While I welcome AIB’s reversal of their initial decision to remove cash services from branches such as Athy, they must now come before the Oireachtas Finance Committee to explain what happened here and to give a solid commitment to customers on the future of cash services in Kildare.
“Banks must keep customers informed about any future decisions in respect of services and branches. We cannot have shock announcements like this, causing consternation for older customers and businesspeople.
“Furthermore, the Government should never have been blindsided by AIB like this, particularly as a major shareholder in the bank. AIB made no mention of this plan when they were at the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Finance. In fact, they emphasised how much they value face-to-face banking and how important their wide network of branches is to them.
“They also stressed how they prioritise vulnerable customers. In reality removing cash services from such a significant number of branches would have been extremely detrimental for older and vulnerable customers, many of whom report they do not possess digital skills for online banking and shouldn’t be at a loss as a result.
“The announcement from AIB with very little notice, showed absolutely no regard for customers. Branches such as Athy, Celbridge, Edenderry & Tullow would have seen services severely curtailed. This decision would have had a serious impact on businesspeople and ordinary customers, particularly older and vulnerable people, in urban and rural areas.
“AIB need to return to the Oireachtas Finance Committee urgently to account for how this shock announcement came about and to give a solid commitment to customers in relation to cash services.
“This whole episode must be a lesson to all banks to respect their loyal customers and never take them for granted”, concluded Minister Heydon