The circular logic of AIB
AIB, a bank that has received more than €17bn from the state to bail it out and is now 99.2pc state-owned, yesterday announced plans to close 67 branches and said that it would raise its standard variable mortgage rate by 0.5pc. AIB customers, who as taxpayers have already paid dearly to rescue AIB, could be forgiven for thinking that they are now paying on the double to restore the fortunes of what was once Ireland's biggest bank.
Announcing the rate increase and the branch closures yesterday, AIB chief executive David Duffy defended the decisions, claiming that the bank was losing money at its current 3pc variable mortgage rate and pointed out that only a 10th of all banking transactions now take place in bank branches.
Mr Duffy also stated that, as a result of AIB's arrangement with An Post, the bank's customers can conduct many routine banking transactions, including lodging and withdrawing cash from AIB accounts, at their local post office.