Bank enjoys brisk trade but no bonds in sight
FROM the heady days of handing out overdrafts and mortgages, to hawking scented candles and new age jewellery -- could this be some kooky creative banking scheme courtesy of the IMF?
Bemused Bank of Ireland customers wandering into their local branch would have been forgiven for thinking that times have indeed changed for the Irish banking system.
One customer at his local branch in Finglas, north Dublin, was startled yesterday to discover that he could pick up a piece of jewellery while lodging a cheque.
However, it seemed he had failed to notice the posters for 'Show your Business' -- a novel opportunity for entrepreneurs to showcase their wares on bank premises, as part of National Enterprise Week.
"It's the second such event we've held this year and we did it three times the previous year with tremendous success," said Anne Mathews of Bank of Ireland's communications office. "Some customers are mildly surprised, others have known about it before and ask when the next event is coming along."
At the bank's flagship branch on Dublin's College Green yesterday, there was a brisk lunchtime trade.
Clare Hamill from Puddleduck Produce, in Co Monaghan, selling jams and chutneys, said it had been a "long but steady day".
"It's a great location and we're getting a good mix of tourists and business people," she said.
Her bestseller yesterday was raspberry jam, closely followed by sweet chilli jam.
"I make it all in my kitchen which smells lovely on jam days, but terrible on chutney days when it just stinks of vinegar," she laughed.
Kristian Schliep of Fire and Food, selling German barbecued sausages for €5, admitted business was relatively slow but said he had decided to take part for advertising purposes.
"Business is tough at the moment -- we have definitely noticed a downturn since the recession," he said.