Independent TD Michael Fitzmaurice shares his views on the closure of 88 branches of the Bank of Ireland (BOI).
The closure of 88 Bank of Ireland branches across the country is a sad day.
However, this gives credit unions the opportunity to fill the void left behind.
More than a third of Bank of Ireland branches closed for the last time on Friday evening (October 8).
Many rural towns and villages will be extremely disappointed with the closure of these banks.
While efforts are being made to liaise with An Post to facilitate deposits and withdrawals, it is not yet clear if this will work.
It’s worth it for Bank of Ireland CEO Francesca McDonagh to remember that when the bank was on its knees it was the Irish who bailed them out.
She and the institution itself would do well to remember this and move forward.
It has been well documented in the media that agreements with An Post may not be for everyone. People in some areas are forced to travel more than 20 km or more to access services.
At a time when we are supposedly encouraging people to buy locally and support businesses in towns and villages in rural Ireland, it appears that there is a program to bring more and more essential services into rural areas. large urban areas.
But with the Bank of Ireland turning its back on so many communities this week, it’s time for credit unions to stand up and work with locals and business owners to deliver the services they need. .
I am aware that credit unions in some areas have introduced upper limits on what each customer can hold with them. This problem will need to be addressed if it prevents people from using their services effectively.