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Banks cannot restrict access to our money

I RECENTLY returned to Ireland to retire and enquired at all the bank branches in my local town about savings- account facilities.

They all said they would be happy to open a savings account for me – but amazingly, none of them could offer me an ATM card that would allow me withdraw any of my savings from ATMs of other banks – only from their own cash machines.

Surely in these recessionary times people should be encouraged to spend at every opportunity. How can they do so if they cannot get at their money?