Deputy Casey has met Bank of Ireland management and received confirmation that no Wicklow branch will be closed (until 2020) and that staff will help businesses and older people adapt to new changes-
Wicklow/East Carlow Fianna Fáil TD Pat Casey has called on Bank of Ireland to reverse its decision to close or severely restrict cashier services in several Wicklow branches. Branches in Greystones, Arklow, Baltinglass, Tinahely, Carnew and Rathdrum are affected by this decision which has angered many rural businesses and the surrounding communities. Greystones, Arklow and Baltinglass will now only have cashier services on mornings only while Tinahely, Carnew and Rathdrum are to lose cashier services altogether.
“I have written to Bank of Ireland and met senior officials outlining my serious concerns about this decision which I believe is ill-judged and which does real damage to rural towns and villages affected. Bank of Ireland has disregarded the needs of their rural customers to make a cold decision to cease cashier services. How do local businesses and the rural customers get change or cash in rural Wicklow? The added security risks that the Bank is now placing on loyal customers is also a factor here. Rural residents feel very vulnerable because of this.”
“I fully support the rural communities affected by this decision and in particular the community in Tinahely who have organised to oppose this decision and engage with the Bank. They have gathered over 1000 signatures in a short space of time and have met with the management in Bank of Ireland. I wrote a letter of support which was given to management and I secured a meeting with senior management at which I outlined my concerns about business and older peoples security.”
“The community in Tinahely know from experience the effect of restricted services had on their village as the Bank was effectively out of the village for a year when it was being refurbished after a failed bank robbery in 2010. All businesses suffered loss of income as people went to other towns to access banking services.”
“Local managers and staff are not to blame here. This decision was taken at national level and affects up to 60 branches. When the banks nearly went bust the taxpayer came to the rescue. Yet when rural Ireland now needs their support Bank of Irelands response is to cut services.”
“Tinahely customers for example cannot even go to Arklow as the branch there will only have a cashier desk from 10am-12.30. Instead they have been advised to travel through back roads to Gorey or even Bunclody which is a round trip taking up to two hours. This is a short-sighted decision from a Bank which traditionally has been seen as supportive of rural Ireland. How this decision fits into their corporate social responsibility framework is a mystery to me?”
“I understand the technological changes that are taking place in banking but Bank of Irelands strength and reputation is embedded in its large branch network and the staff that work there.”
“There is still time for Bank of Ireland to reflect on this and offer some compromise to their loyal customers that are so badly affected by this. We are not going to let this go without a fight and I and Cllrs Pat Kennedy and Pat Doran will support this campaign in every way we can.”
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