AIB’s Decision to Remove Cash from 70 Branches – Ministers Must Intervene – Pa Daly TD

Teachta Pa Daly said that the decision by AIB to remove all access to cash and ATM services from branches nationwide is unacceptable and he’s calling for ministerial intervention.

Pa Daly TD has slammed AIB’s decision to remove cash from 70 branches nationwide, including five in Kerry.

Teachta Daly said that the decision by AIB to remove all access to cash, cheque, bank draft, foreign exchange and ATM services from 70 branches nationwide is unacceptable. 

Pascal Donohue as Minister for Finance and Heather Humphreys as Minister for Community and Rural Development and the Islands must intervene,” he said.

Long Journeys to Nearest Banks 

Dingle, Kenmare, Cahersiveen, Killorglin and Castleisland are affected within Kerry and customers will be expected to travel from Baile na nGall to Tralee and from Ballinskelligs to Killarney.  The latter being a 90-minute journey by car or a day-long event using public transport.

The effect on individuals and businesses will be devastating. This government seems intent on killing off any form of community that we have left. 

Banks, Garda stations and post offices are an important part of the social fabric that binds our communities together but little is being done to preserve these in rural communities.   

Post Offices Challenged 

Post Offices are facing a real challenge with the volume of business they are now expected to handle across personal and business customers within these communities. 

Public transportation is unavailable and unaffordable for too many.  For those who do drive, having to travel 30,  50 or even 70 kilometres to access basic banking services is also unaffordable and it should be unnecessary.

Travel with More Cash  

People will naturally be inclined to travel with more cash over longer distances and this will put them at risk of theft and worse.  Many are already struggling to navigate a rapidly changing banking sector and this move shows no regard for the elderly, vulnerable or rural customers.  

In 2010, the government of the day asked the Irish people to support its intervention in the financial crisis and bail out the banks at a cost of €67 billion. 

Still Repaying Bail-Out Loans

This was to save the supposed cornerstones of our towns and villages and it led to years of austerity measures to enable repayment of these loans.  Twelve years on we are still repaying some of those loans while the banks are making record profits.

AIB has used the effects of the pandemic to justify this decision stating there is reduced use by customers.  This is a cynical move and it should be reversed. 

The Importance of Cash

The Central Bank has noted the importance of cash in our economy and to support social inclusion. 

I am calling on Minister Donohue and Minister Humphreys to intervene and ensure a just transition to a cashless society. 

The elderly, infirm, and those on lower incomes are not ready for this particular withdrawal,” said Teachta Daly.

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