Bank of Ireland in U-turn over cash services at its branches
Bank of Ireland is to increase the number of branches that will handle cash.
This is a U-turn from a previous decision to shut down all-day cash services in a large number of branches.
The bank says 164 branches now have full-day counter services, and it has opened two new outlets. It says it is investing €25m in its network in the next two years.
The bank came in for huge criticism from groups representing older people, in particular when it restricted cash-handling and other counter services in a more than 100 branches.
In what was called a digital strategy, the bank wanted to convert a number of traditional branches to an "advice and self-service" model.
Now Bank of Ireland has said the 164 branches have reverted to a full-day counter service. It is opening new branches in Ballycoolin and Dalkey in Dublin. The Ballycoolin one will not have cash services at counters.
But the bank said it was adding more front-line staff to its branch network this year and next year.
Some 58 branches will be upgraded over the next year.
Director of distribution at Bank of Ireland Aine McCleary announced that the change in direction was due to customer demand.
"We want to offer services and products in line with how our consumers want to bank, both now and into the future.
"Having listened to customers, it was clear that we needed to make changes with our branches."
Ms McCleary said the trend for the majority of customers was to use self-service banking. But she acknowledged that others had more complex financial needs and wished to talk to someone face to face.
She said there was now a full counter service in 164 locations.