Bank of Ireland: 140 contract staff to lose their jobs by Christmas
Contract staff working in Bank of Ireland branches to get customers to use self-service machines, instead of transacting at counters, are to be laid off just ahead of Christmas.
Bank of Ireland generated controversy when the Irish Independent revealed it is restricting over-the-counter cash withdrawals to sums over €700.
The bank will only allow counter staff to lodge a cheque for customers if they have 15 of them, and cash lodgements are limited to €2,000.
Finance Minister Michael Noonan and the Central Bank both urged the bank to facilitate the less technically savvy.
But now it has emerged that 140 contract staff engaged from recruitment agency CPL Resources in what the bank calls "digitalisation" work are being let go weeks before Christmas.
According to general secretary of banking union IBOA, Larry Broderick, they were taken on from April and are paid the same starting salary for Bank of Ireland staff of €23,500.
"These people are being let go before Christmas despite the fact that there is a significant staff problem in Bank of Ireland. They should be retained as Bank of Ireland staff."
The IBOA has 5,000 members in bank branches. Both CPL and Bank of Ireland declined to comment. The bank said it does not comment on staffing matters.
Meanwhile, a number of elderly people have contacted this newspaper in the past few days saying they were directed towards machines when they sought to make low-value cash lodgements and withdrawals.
A spokesman for the bank replied that the bank was assisting people to use self-service lodgement machines and ATMs (automated teller machines).
"Bank of Ireland has always worked to support the needs of our diverse customer base," he added. "Where additional support is required, our staff are providing this."