AIB in drive to woo Bank of Scotland business customers
AIB is launching a charm offensive to woo the 5,000 business banking customers jilted by Bank of Scotland (Ireland).
The bailed-out bank has set up a dedicated helpline for Bank of Scotland Ireland (BoSI) business customers who need to make new banking arrangements before the UK bank pulls out on December 31.
AIB will also place ads in local and regional press and radio, and forge links with business lobby groups.
"We're conscious that a lot of BoSI customers are anxious to get their situations sorted," said AIB's head of retail and SME banking Denis O'Callaghan. "We want to convey to them that we're open for business and that we want to talk to them."
Mr O'Callaghan said AIB would talk to BoSI's customers about "the entire range" of products for business customers, including overdrafts and loans.
AIB has come under fire for its business lending record, with three government ministers recently summoning the bank's chairman and chief executive to explain the bank's approach.
Mr O'Callaghan insisted the overtures to BoSI's customers weren't being made to appease the Government or help AIB meet its business lending commitments.
"This is an AIB initiative consistent with Government aims," he said, stressing that the initiative had not been launched at the Government's behest.
BoSI is believed to have less than 5,000 customers with business trading accounts, a drop in the ocean compared to the 180,000 business accounts already on AIB's books.
"This is not about pursuing market share," said Mr O'Callaghan. "We're simply sending out a message to customers who are about to run out of road, telling them that they have options."