More than a third of Bank of Ireland branches across the country will close for the last time today.
The bank is ceasing services at 88 locations as part of significant changes to its branch network and local banking services first announced in March.
He said that over the past three years, there has been a 60% drop in the number of customers visiting the branches in question, with an increase in those using online services.
The Bank of Ireland said an agreement with An Post, allowing deposits and withdrawals, “will protect local access to over-the-counter banking services.”
He said it would allow account holders to transact at more than 900 post offices across the country.
Customers affected by the closures have been in writing in recent months, advising them of the changes and indicating where their accounts will be transferred. Account numbers, sort codes, as well as direct debits and standing order agreements, will remain in place.
While most closed branches have post offices nearby, customers wishing to access other Bank of Ireland services may now have to travel significant distances to their nearest branch.
The closure of the Bantry branch in Co Cork means customers have to travel to Skibbereen or Kenmare, distances of 28.5 km and 44.7 km, respectively.
Complete list of Bank of Ireland branch closures
Bank of Ireland closes 103 branches in Ireland and NI
Likewise, the closure of the Ballyhaunis facility means locals will have to travel to either Claremorris or Castlerea, both about 12 miles from Mayo town.
Businesses plan to hold a protest outside the bank this afternoon to express concern over the Bank of Ireland’s move.
Following the closure of Ulster Bank in Ballyhaunis five years ago, the local chamber of commerce said the area was now deprived of access to essential services.
Despite a campaign to maintain the branch, and discussions with the management of the BOI in recent days, services will cease there this afternoon.
House Speaker Tom Forde said there was a lot of anger in the city over the shutdown. He said the option of post office-based banking services was not viable for several large companies operating in the region.
Mr Forde also argues that there is a strong business case for a bank in the city, given the number of employees in local industries and the income they generate.
Sad day for Bank of Ireland staff and customers
The Financial Services Union has called the closures of 88 Bank of Ireland branches a “sad day” for staff and customers and a real sign of weak regulation in Ireland.
“Despite opposition between parties in Dail and Stormont and across large sections of the community, Bank of Ireland has continued on the path of eroding its footprint and removing vital services from communities across our country. “John O’Connell, secretary general of the Financial Services Union, said.
He also said the central bank’s silence over these closures should be denounced.
“The regulator has clearly failed in its role of protecting customers and communities in this case,” he said.
Mr O’Connell said removing ATMs will mean there will be communities next week that will no longer have 24/7 cash access.
Despite the increase in card payments, cash remains an essential form of payment for consumers, he added.
He said this was something that had been planned in other jurisdictions, including Northern Ireland and the UK, where the regulator has taken steps to ensure cash is accessible to all.
The FSU called on the Central Bank to open a consultation document on future access to cash to ensure that the use and access to cash is protected.
He also called for urgent consideration whether legislation and new enforcement powers are needed in this area.
“Our banking sector is at a crossroads and needs the Central Bank to commit to ensuring that the banking network does not disappear and to be proactive in ensuring that communities and vulnerable people are no longer harmed. affected, ”Mr. O’Connell added.