AIB has caved in and suspended the planned introduction of maintenance and transactions fees for customers who have been able to avoid them up to now.
It comes as Bank of Ireland said it is to temporarily close 101 branches during the pandemic, and redeploy staff to larger branches and contact centres to deal with surge in those needing Covid-19 financial support.
AIB was accused of an “alarming lack of empathy” when it said it was forging ahead with plans to change its fees and charges regime for customers.
At the moment customers who can keep a minimum balance of €2,500 per quarter can avoid fees and a quarterly maintenance fee of €4.
But this was to change at the end of May, meaning that an ATM withdrawal fee of 35c would apply and an over-the-counter transaction cost of 39c would apply no matter how much money is kept in the current account.
Some calculations indicate that this would cost customers between €100 and €150 a year.
Consumer representative on the Irish Banking Culture Board Padraic Kissane said the move to force more current account customers to pay fees displayed “an alarming lack of empathy”.
However, AIB has now performed a U-turn.
Customers who received correspondence from the bank can disregard the changes to fees and charges advised, it said.
It added that AIB and EBS branches remain open to customers, except for those locations on campuses that closed following advice from the health authorities.
But Bank of Ireland is to temporarily close 101 branches during the pandemic, and redeploy staff at larger branches and contact centres to deal with surge in those who eed Covid-19 financial support.
It said the branches closing were mainly non-counter ones, which offer advice on the likes of mortgages. Footfall had fallen heavily at these branches.
Bank of Ireland said 161 branches nationwide will be open as normal, with 148 of these providing a full service to customers, including counter services for cash, coin and cheque services.
It comes as KBC Bank said it has set up a process for people seeking loan and mortgage payment breaks due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The bank confirmed it has made all the necessary changes to its operations, systems and protocols. It has been processing applications since Saturday.